Khari Turner is a painter striving to create a deeper connection to his identity and history as a Black American through his work. Turner’s current work explores Black people as personifications of the ocean. He states, ‘My paintings and drawings combine abstraction with realistic renderings of Black noses and lips to rejuvenate the relationship of my history to my ancestor’s history with water.’ Turner collects water from bodies of water that have a historical or personal connection to Black history. This water is then mixed and poured onto his paintings as a way to create a closer relationship between his emotions and comprehension of his past.
A 2021 Columbia MFA graduate Turner has received over 12 scholarships including the Shops Fellowship (Columbia) and has had numerous group and solo shows since 2017, including SAY IT LOUD (I’m Black and I’m Proud), Christie’s, New York (2020 and BLACK VOICES: Friend of My Mind, Ross-Sutton Gallery, New York (2021).