Art21 Extended Play

Laylah Ali | Newspaper Clippings


EXCLUSIVE: In her Williamstown, MA studio, artist Laylah Ali discusses her system of organizing newspaper clippings, which includes photographs of swimmer Michael Phelps, soldiers, and American flags.

Laylah Ali creates gouache-on-paper paintings that take her many months to complete. Ali meticulously plots out in advance every aspect of her work, from subject matter to choice of color, achieving a high level of emotional tension in her paintings as a result of juxtaposing brightly colored scenes with dark, often violent subject matter.

"Untitled" 1999 Gouache on paper, 8 1/4 x 13 3/4 inches Courtesy Miller Block Gallery, Boston

Laylah Ali. "Untitled," 1999. Gouache on paper, 8 1/4 x 13 3/4 inches. Courtesy Miller Block Gallery, Boston

VIDEO: Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Tom Bergin. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork courtesy: Laylah Ali.


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