Jamal Cyrus wins BMW's sixth Art Journey award

The artist will travel to cultural centers in Ghana, France, and Spain to continue his exploration of the 'Afro Atlantic'

Jamal Cyrus has been awarded the 6th BMW Art Journey award based on his presentation at Inman gallery during Art Basel’s 2017 Miami Beach show. ‘STANDARDZENBŪZ II’ unites themes of African-American identity, culture, history, and music, calling particular attention to their contributions to American culture and society. It is, in his own words, ‘an intercontinental and multinational geography describing the circulation of ideas between Africa, Europe, and the Americas’- read through an assemblage of record covers, blues posters, magazine collages, and a leather book sleeve.

Cyrus will extend his exploration of 'an intercontinental and multinational geography describing the circulation of ideas between Africa, Europe, and the Americas' - and their resultant cultural hybrids. Traveling to major cultural centers in Ghana, France, London, Spain, and the United States he will interview artists, musicians, historians, and philosophers engaged in the Afro-Atlantic creative traditions, culminating in what he describes as ‘a transformational process involving travel, dialogue, collective imagination and intuitive response that will allow new ideas to surface in my work.’

Lauding the exceptional depth and detail of Cyrus’s proposal, the five-member jury stated that ‘Jamal Cyrus’s BMW Art Journey delineates an imaginary geography that transforms relations of power and imposed hierarchies...His project struck us as a profound and sincere search for an understanding of the self, through the artistic lense of an individual who never forgets his role as a teacher, and who therefore foresees the multiplying effect of his experience. Cyrus’s BMW Art Journey will expand and amplify a practice that has already brought much to the conversation around culture, history, and identity in the United States.’

In addition to Jamal Cyrus, the shortlisted artists from the Positions sector for emerging artists at Art Basel in Miami Beach included A.K. Burns at Callicoon Fine Arts in New York, and Mariela Scafati at Isla Flotante in Buenos Aires. The next selections for the BMW Art Journey will take place during Art Basel in Hong Kong on Wednesday, March 28 at the BMW Lounge, and whose winner will be announced in early summer 2018.