The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and the SCAD Museum of Art present the exhibition i feel ya: SCAD + André 3000 Benjamin, on view Friday, July 17 through September 13, 2015, at 601 Turner Blvd. The summer highlight exhibition, which debuted at Mana in Miami during Art Basel last year, explores fashion, film, and painting through the work of various artists, musicians, performers, fashion innovators, and Atlanta’s own André Benjamin (aka André 3000) from the HIp Hop group Outkast.More than a casual affirmation, i feel ya is an invitation to think critically and consider rhetorical expression. Phrases printed on custom jumpsuits designed by André Benjamin initiate a powerful exchange, reflected in Jimmy O’Neal’s large-scale abstract paintings alongside an experimental film directed by Greg Brunkalla.
Shown together here in a dynamic display, Benjamin’s 47 jumpsuits were originally created for the 2014 worldwide tour celebrating 20 years of Outkast’s music history. Revealing a sampling of Benjamin’s musings and observations—a response to today’s content-heavy digital landscape, which provides an unrelenting flood of images and opinions—i feel ya engages viewers as vital participants in a socially dynamic conversation.Another central feature of i feel ya is a commissioned film, Trumpets, conceived and directed by SCAD alumnus Greg Brunkalla and produced at SCAD’s Savannah Film Studios, a 22,000-squarefoot, state-of-the-art facility. The film uses the thoughts and expressions on the jumpsuits as a creative point of departure to build a broader conversation about language and context. Two projectors cast words and phrases onto a single surface without syncing to the film itself—a spontaneous effect that creates a wholly unique experience for each audience and screening.“SCAD is a place of convergence for smart, creative people,” said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. “This exhibition is a collaboration in the truest sense—André’s singular style is illuminated by the brilliant work of SCAD alumni artists.”“As I initially thought about displaying this collection, I immediately knew I that wanted to work with my longtime collaborative partners at SCAD,” offered Benjamin at the time of the exhibition’s original showing at Mana in Miami last December.As a versatile artist in music, performance, fashion design, and film, Benjamin has his finger on the pulse of contemporary culture. Benjamin’s identity as an artist took flight in the pages of a sketchbook he kept as a teenager, and he later rose to international fame as a member of the six-time Grammy-Award-winning musical group Outkast—the first hip-hop act to earn the coveted Album of the Year Grammy for 2004’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which sold more than 11 million copies. Benjamin has been a longtime supporter of SCAD, particularly through the university’s Collaborative Learning Center, an interdisciplinary learning community that facilitates sponsored projects between SCAD students and external partners. i feel ya is curated by Laurie Ann Farrell, SCAD’s Executive Director of Exhibitions, who oversees the SCAD Museum of Art and SCAD galleries in Savannah and Atlanta.