Works by Mingering Mike on View at ICA Boston

Mingering Mike / The Outsiders are Back / 1971 / Mixed media on cardboard / 12 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.

Beginning today, “The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl” is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Featuring works by 41 artists, the exhibition looks at the importance and influence of records on visual art.

I am particularly excited by the exhibition’s inclusion of work by Mingering Mike, a self-taught artist from Washington D.C. who drew (and starred in) imagined records from the late-1960s through 1977. The mixed media  album covers and cardboard records, which bear names such as “Can Minger Mike Stevens Really Sing,” “Ghetto Prince,” and “The Outsiders are Back,” reveal not only the artist’s private ambitions, but also his interpretations of African American music and urban black culture of the period.

Organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, “The Record” is on view in Boston through September 5, 2011.

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