I am Unity: Khari Johnson-Ricks

A vibrant underwater sea painting of reds and browns and highlighted Black bodies stretched in motion, accented by gold clouds and gray sea creatures

Unity at the Initiative: a multi-site visual exhibition and at-home experience centering art by and for Queer and Trans Artists of Color. I am:_____ is a blog series to get to know our partners.

Khari Johnson-Ricks’ multimedia practice extends across media, including painting, performance, murals, zines, and nightlife spaces. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York; Jeffrey Dietch, Los Angeles; Special Special, New York; and the Elizabeth Foundation, New York, among others. He has created public murals for the city of Newark as part of Mayor Ras Baraka’s “Model Neighborhood Initiative” and “Gateways to Newark” Projects. His zines are featured in the library collections of the MET Library, the Whitney Library, and The MOMA Library. He lives and works in New Jersey. 

"I make paper cut outs that often articulate fleeting moments of fun, safety, training and joy experienced  with friends and family through shared vernacular traditions and sporting. These works are often paired with allegory and are used to metabolize and resist the complex struggles of race and capital that distract and disenfranchise people on the margins. "



Finish this sentence with a word or two: I am a:_______

Artist and Athlete 

What's the most half-baked hobby you took on since the COVID-19 shutdown?

I do everything full baked! 

What are you binge-watching?

A poster advertising season 4 of the TV show: Fargo, depicting rows of soup cans printed to create a whole picture with Fargo emblazoned across the rows/columns








The Mandalorian, Half and Half, Fargo

What's the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

I love when animal tiktoks are overdubbed with scenes from reality television

If you were to create a signature skate move, what would the move involve/look like?

I'm really into very chill no comply moves. Maybe a slo-mo no comply of some sort?

Anything you'd like to share with the world?

Liberate all black people!