Award-winning author and illustrator Javaka Steptoe features his recent book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. On display are Steptoe’s original collages created for this book about the cultural phenomenon which was awarded the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal and the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.
For me, collage is a means of survival. It is how black folks survived four hundred years of oppression, taking the scraps of life and transforming them into art forms. As both an artist and educator, I challenge traditional notions of Black art, emphasizing the richness of our collective past through my use of family as a recurring theme and centerpiece. I want my audience, no matter what their background, to be able to enter into my world and make connections with comparable experiences in their own lives.
This exhibition features original collages created for my recent book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Javaka Steptoe is the winner of the 2017 Caldecott Medal and the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his picture book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Steptoe is also an eclectic artist, designer and illustrator, building a national reputation as an outstanding contributor to the genre of children’s literature. His debut picture book, In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall, won the Coretta Scott King Award, and Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow (written by Gary Golio) received a Coretta Scott King Honor. Steptoe earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.