The highly anticipated “Blu³eprint” by UW–Madison’s Faisal Abdu’Allah was unveiled last week on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and now stands in front of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMOCA) on State Street in Madison.
Abdu’Allah, an internationally acclaimed artist and professor with the School of Education’s Art Department, is the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art and the associate dean of the arts in the School of Education.
Carved from Indiana limestone and measuring almost seven feet in height, “Blu³eprint” depicts Abdu’Allah sitting in a barber’s chair, “a nod to the significance of the barbershop both within his artistic practice and his personal history,” according to MMOCA’s website. He realized the sculpture in collaboration with Italian stone carver Martin Foot and Quarra Stone Company in Madison.
During the unveiling ceremony, Abdu’Allah, who grew up in London, said: “When I was a young person growing up, I went into places like this — museums and galleries. What I can definitely say is that, as a young kid, walking around the National Portrait Gallery, I saw images of myself in very subservient positions.”
“And I made a contract with myself — wrote myself a promissory note — that I would continue to make images so that I could see images of myself that reflected my own identity and that reflected my aspirations. And I think that’s very key. These places can elevate people or they can take them the other way, if they don’t see the right kinds of representations.”
Abdu’Allah’s “Blu³eprint” has continued to draw media attention. Check out this Wisconsin State Journal article about the unveiling of the sculpture and this Madison 365 article about the sculpture’s creation.
“Blu³eprint” is the initial phase of Faisal Abdu’Allah’s upcoming exhibition at MMoCA titled DARK MATTER, which opens in Sept. 2022.