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Who Am I If I Don't Represent? Glenn Hardy Jr at the Charlie James Gallery

Who Am I If I Don't Represent?

Glenn Hardy Jr at the Charlie James Gallery

by Lee Paul,
first published: February, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

This show will take you on a journey, from the times of having nothing...

Glenn Hardy Jr.
Who Am I If I Don’t Represent?
Charlie James Gallery
Los Angeles
January 14th - February 11th, 2023

Glenn basketballRunning right now at the Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles is Glenn Hardy Jr’s second solo show with the gallery, “Who Am I If I Don’t Represent?”

In a week where the murder of Tyre Nichols by the Memphis police force has been trailed and touted and played on screens all over the world, like a video game, like murder porn; and even locally here in Birmingham in the UK, the picture of a young Black murder victim is published on a newspaper website - for what good reason? Negative imagery of non-celebrities pervades. There’s no normality, our institutions are working very hard to make that normal.  Glenn Hardy Jr's work wades right into this arena. Based in Maryland, Glenn is self-taught, (which I know, can make some college educated artists without shows, angry). Glenn’s work is a response to the mass of negative visual language permeating the Black American experience: endless depictions of violence and suggestions of danger operating like a net around an entire community, limiting social movement and actively endangering lives.

The scenes presented in “Who Am I If I Don’t Represent?” are centred in gatherings and reunions, supported by portraits of work, play, and different forms of achievement. Hardy’s work seeks to similarly encode positive narratives of the contemporary Black American experience, and in so doing combat existing bias.

Among his influences are those depictors of everyday existence, the American greats Kerry James Marshall and Ernie Barnes. Glenn Hardy shares their love of candour.

This all matters, but it matters so much more because Glenn's work is infused with the astonishing. I love the alacrity of movement in his subjects. The time taken to move through the scene. Stuff is happening, but not too much. It's beautiful and it's the greatest.

Hardy says, “This show will take you on a journey, from the times of having nothing, following your dreams and hoping it’ll be the way out, to taking advice from the OG’s that sat in rocking chairs on the porch, from rekindling relationships that were absent for so long it made you say, ‘long time, no see,’ to celebrating that moment when you can finally say, ‘look momma, I made it’.”

Glenn garden partyFamily Reunion (2022)

Essential Info
Main image: The Way Out (2022)
Basketball image: Check Ball (2022)

Glenn Hardy Jr.
Who Am I If I Don’t Represent?
Charlie James Gallery
Los Angeles
Chung King St. Los Angeles, CA90012
January 14th - February 11th, 2023

Artist Instagram: @glennhardyjr
Gallery website:
Gallery Instagram: @charliejamesgallery

Lee Paul

I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.
about Lee Paul »»

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