Roger Brown 'Untitled' Mosaic


This work is a mosaic that depict hexagonal skulls that merge into heads toward the top of the scene. The work is sited near a historic site: New York's African Burial Ground. In the 18th century, this space was the burial site for 10 to 20 thousand enslaved African Americans and working class citizens. It was discovered centuries later. Along with paying homage to those who were laid to rest on this site, Brown also remembers those who lost their lives to AIDS in his iconography.Roger Brown was a leading painter of the Chicago-Imagist style. For this project, Brown initially painted his image on canvass and then had the composition transformed by skilled artisans in Italy of special glass mosaics. All aspects of the work were accomplished to Brown`s satisfaction; assembled and installed under his guidance. Of his work, Brown said, “On this ancient cemetery site below the modern skyline of New York City a contemporary tapestry of human faces, each made thin and hollow by the ravages of AIDS, descends like some medieval nightmare into a mosaic of death heads in memory of those of all races who have suffered and died too soon.”

Installed, 1994