Legendary ‘Clash Man’ Kosmo Vinyl Brings his “Cisco Kid vs. Donald Trump” Art Exhibition to the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination from April 5 – May 3, 2019. First Friday Receptions 7 - 10 pm.
The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination will welcome London-born/New York City-based artist Kosmo Vinyl for the opening of the "Cisco Kid vs. Donald Trump" exhibition. The artist’s reception will take place on Friday, April 5 and showing until Friday, May 3, 2019.
The art project began in June 2016 as an Instagram series, with the artist appropriating 1950s Cisco Kid comic strips by Argentine Jose Luis Salinas and replacing the dialogue in the speech bubbles to reflect on Trump’s seemingly endless calamities. “There are many variants on the 19th-century quote “all bad men need to succeed is for good men to do nothing’,” notes Vinyl. "It may not be much, but I am doing something.” Creative Protest is nothing new for the artist, whose former career started in 1970s London working with seminal British punk band The Clash. Kosmo emigrated to New York City over 30 years ago and eventually retired from music to raise a family. His art career began almost by accident when he started making his own postcards and mailing them to friends.
When then-candidate Trump first announced that Mexican immigrants were drug dealers and rapists, Vinyl’s outrage sparked a brainstorm. “Cisco Kid was a caballero, the Robin Hood of the West. Who is better to defend the good name, not only of Mexicans but all immigrants?”, he thought. The Instagram series was started with the expectation of finishing after the election in November, but when the results came in, he realized people needed Cisco to ride on now more than ever.
He was first asked to exhibit Cisco Kid at the SPRING/BREAK Art Show during New York Armory Week in 2017, he had high-quality pigment prints made and framed for the fair. The installation captured the attention of MoMA PS1 Director, Klaus Biesenbach, and received coverage in Art News, The Inside Report and W Magazine. He then took the show to the belly of the beast, making his Washington D.C. debut at Lost Origins Gallery. The Washington Post wrote: "It’s as though the Clash reunited to challenge Trump, not with songs but with record covers." Since then he also presented Cisco shows in Atlanta and Nashville.
Not all Kosmo’s work is protest art, he had a painting in The Royal Academy’s 250th Summer exhibition curated by Grayson Perry in Piccadilly, London. He also has an exhibition of his soccer related art currently on show at The National Football Museum, in Manchester, England.
On Saturday, April 6, the Center will host an artist talk (with tea) at Noon, as a part of the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival. The exhibition will continue through May 3.