Late Nights at the Whitney
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Artist Rashawn Griffin uses a variety of materials, such as bed sheets, food, and flora to create large-scale sculptures and paintings. After receiving his MFA from Yale University, he exhibited in multiple solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Griffin challenges his viewers to recall their own past experience by engaging with his art. One way that he does this is by referring to his own childhood growing up in Kansas—as he did in his innovative work for the Whitney Biennial exhibition in 2008. The exploration of place, site specificity, and identity through sculpture and photography is a major theme of Griffin’s installations and was a focus of the Spring 2009 Artist in Residence program. Griffin worked with YI teens in conjunction with the exhibitions Sites and Artists Making Photographs. The teens explored their ideas of place by photographing sculptural objects that they discovered around them or created themselves using found materials. Over several weeks, they continued to investigate the same idea in different media, creating sculptures, photographs, digital images, and writing around their chosen theme.