A Portfolio: The Newest Works of Khari Turner

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On today’s A Portfolio, we look at the new works by our old friend, Khari Turner, who presented Solid to Gas in London with Ross-Sutton Gallery earlier this month. It was his first new body of work in over a year, and his first presentation in London. 

I paint because of my understanding of my identity and history, recovering the air of a story. I imagine the personifications of the magic that is water. I use water from oceans, lakes, and rivers from places that have either a historical or personal connection to Black people — water that I collect to mix with and pour onto my paintings.

My paintings and drawings combine abstraction with realistic renderings of Black noses and lips to investigate the spiritual and physical record to my ancestor’s relationships with water. The average body is made up of 60% water, the same water in these ethereal beings that inhabit the work. All the water on this earth is the same water that has always been on this earth. The knowledge water holds is in all of us, and the realization that we share this water is my focus. My work is constantly evolving, absorbing water and history as a material, painting to bring the stories of elegance and chaos that comes with this existence.

The work in ’Solid to Gas’ is the result of a deep dive into all these elements and trying to evaluate the line between water as solid to gas thinking about the water taking on a similar look and ideology in the work. —Khari Turner

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