Otubenga Jones & Associates is Not a Hip Hop Law Firm

These four brothers make up Otubenga Jones & Associates. And they're about to blow up.

The prolific collective, who met in drawing class at historically black Texas Southern U. back in 1994, are on the verge of taking the contemporary art world by storm. They take their group name from Ota Benga, who was a Pygmy brought to the United States in 1904, put on display in the Bronx Zoo and later commited suicide in 1916 (think depression might have had something to do with it?). Not without irreverence, the art of the Houston-based artists (Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Jamal Cyrus, Kenya Evans and Robert A. Pruitt) takes jabs at ideas about race, the art world and life in America. Their work in the prestigious Whitney Biennial allowed observers to peek into a miniature landscape, diorama-like, with a host of heads, called “Exploring the Outer Reaches of the Garden of Pro-Black Sanctuary.”

A lot of brothers can write fresh lyrics, but how many are doing this?

Enhance your black history month by checking out their recent press.


Christopher Chambers said...

Will check them out. FYI, when you listed something about a Pygmy brought to the US, I thought you where talking about my younger brother, but then I saw it was 1904. Thanks for clearing it up! LOL

Aly Cat 121 said...

*lookin into camera* at white folks thinkin it a GREAT idea to put a human being on display at a f*ckin zoo. But then, folks are capable of much worse so why should a be shocked. Glad these young brothas are trying to hold it down. Hopefully I won't see them in no Coca-Cola commercials in the future.

Tara Evans said...

Kenya(far left) is my brother. I am so proud of OJ & A I could burst. I just wanted to mention that Otabenga Jones & Associates was listed as one of the art collectives to watch in Vanity Fair's December 2006 Issue..."The Art Issue." (yes....THAT Vanity Fair...with a half naked Brad Pitt on the cover!) check them out @ www.myspace.com/ojassociates. peace and blessings.