Next Big Thing: Coby Kennedy
The New York artist, whose latest works are on view at C24 Gallery through December 23, surveys centuries of perseverance in Black America with a unique, visceral language
Utilizing stretched and mounted bulletproof Kevlar, oxidized rust, and tinted resin, Coby Kennedy surveys centuries of perseverance in Black America with a unique, visceral language. “I found it to be more efficient to tell huge parts of the story through the materials themselves,” says Kennedy, whose new works are on view at C24 Gallery in New York through December 23.
Past life: “As a kid, I grew up on Blade Runner and Miami Vice, and so I was very interested in industrial design. I wanted to live in the future,” recalls Kennedy, who worked in Japan for Honda for almost a decade. “I was doing concept cars, houseboats, robots, cars that would become your friend, AI. I was literally designing the future.”
“A futurist, Coby has an unyielding commitment to confronting the pressing concerns of our era, creating a captivating tapestry, weaving across the boundaries of time and space”Hank WillIs Thomas
Public impact: Last spring, Kennedy teamed up with Hank Willis Thomas to transform the Multi-Modal Facility at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago with a public art commission. Titled Reach, the colossal sculpture features two outstretched hands that could signify either separation or coming together.
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2023 Winter Issue under the headline “Next Big Things.” Subscribe to the magazine.
Click here to see the full list of “Next Big Things.”