We often talk about artists as storytellers, moving from painting to painting like authors of their own universe. If you have met or seen the works of Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based Umar Rashid, formerly known in art circles as Frohawk Two Feathers, it’s almost a disservice to call him a storyteller. And trust me, I accidentally have. Yet, he is such a profound thinker of history, creating alternate storylines to what might have appeared as minor changes in the historical lineage for which he works. Through writing, painting, drawing, sculpture, Rashid expands and contracts history into somewhat of an accordion of time and space.

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In this conversation on the Radio Juxtapoz podcast… we go everywhere with Umar. Born to playwrights and parents of the theater stage in Chicago, Rashid was born to look at how we treat metaphors and allegories into our daily lives. Performance is a word that may not come up in this podcast, but we look at the performance of history, where Rashid sees moments to engulf himself in and make entire years of his life dedicated to them.

We speak about his artwork (and yes, his recent successes and participation in the MADE IN LA, but we delve deeper into the ways in which he thinks and approaches making art. But we also get to the heart of the matter of history: what happens when we begin to look at humanity as both flawed and romantic? Or beautiful and horribly brutal? What happens when, in the face of strive, we poke fun at power? And what happens that in moments of pure joy we look at the darkness of our past?

The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV’s Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 073 was recorded via Skype in Manchester, England, San Francisco and Los Angeles on May 27, 2021. Follow us on @radiojuxtapoz