The Brooklyn Museum proudly presents “Spike Lee: Creative Sources,” a captivating exhibition running from October 7, 2023, to February 4, 2024, in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery on the 5th Floor.
This immersive showcase provides a unique glimpse into the life and creative genius of iconic American director Spike Lee. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1957 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Lee’s indelible mark on contemporary cinema is celebrated through this curated collection of over 350 objects.
To further kick off the exhibit, there will be an intimate conversation between Lee and friend/collaborator Delroy Lindo on October 12, 2023 between 7:30–9 pm.
“Creative Sources” explores themes like Black American history and culture, Brooklyn’s influence, sports, music, cinema history, and family, offering visitors an intimate look at the inspiration behind Lee’s remarkable body of work.
Lee, renowned for his extensive contributions to film, has directed, written, and produced an array of movies, commercials, music videos, and recorded plays over four decades. This exhibition, featuring objects from Lee’s personal collection, mirrors the recurring themes found in his films, offering visitors a fresh perspective on how his lifelong interests have influenced his creative productions.
The exhibition is divided into seven thematic sections, each accompanied by clips from Lee’s groundbreaking films. Works by prominent Black American artists and tributes to influential figures who have left their mark on Lee enrich the experience.
A significant section delves into Lee’s strong influence from Black American history and culture, focusing on his critique of minstrelsy and blackface in the film “Bamboozled.” Objects in this section, including images of Harlem and public figures like Lena Horne, Jacob Lawrence, and James Baldwin, weave a narrative about self-expression, community, and activism.
Brooklyn, a recurring backdrop in many of Lee’s films, is explored in detail, showcasing photographs, movie posters, and set dressings from Lee’s Brooklyn-based films, along with memorabilia from his film company, “40 Acres and a Mule.”
The exhibition highlights Lee’s appreciation for Black athletes, featuring a commissioned painting honoring Brooklyn Dodgers player Jackie Robinson, tennis rackets from Arthur Ashe and Serena Williams, and iconic sports moments.
Lee’s profound connection to music is evident in the exhibition’s music section, including portraits of musical luminaries and instruments owned by legendary musicians.
Additionally, the exhibition pays homage to filmmakers who have influenced Lee’s work, addresses political and social issues, and explores the concept of family, both on and off-screen.
“Spike Lee: Creative Sources” offers an intimate and comprehensive look at the life and creative journey of one of America’s most influential directors. This exhibition is a testament to Spike Lee’s enduring legacy and his profound impact on the world of cinema. It is a must-see for film enthusiasts, art lovers, and anyone interested in the rich tapestry of Black American culture and history. Discover the sources of Spike Lee’s creativity at the Brooklyn Museum.
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