Brooklyn-based artist Yashua Klos collages woodblock prints as a way of exploring “Blackness as an identity in flux – fragmenting, constructing and deconstructing as strategies for survival.” When he was a teenager, Klos experienced a pivotal moment in his life, a brutal conflict with police which ultimately revealed his defiant spirit. He explains, “Today, we are hyper aware of the daily systematic threats to Black life, yet Blackness insists upon survival and beauty in defiance to these threats.” Have a look at Klos’ work below.
Yashua Klos 2007 Banners (woodblock prints on muslin) series was the precursor to the more recent 2009-2011 floating heads, faces, and hands. Coalescing into figure from geometric planes, these collages are otherworldy. Like a sculptor, Klos uses varying angular shapes of woodgrain-printed shade and hue to build bodies in post-apocalyptic states. The monumental, industrial subject matter is belied by the warm, natural tones of the black ink woodcuts on paper; an Easter Island stone head that should last forever is in fact a decomposing Trojan horse of wood.