The Blockson Collection in partnership with Rush Arts Philadelphia spotlights iconic artist, John J. Abner and his monumental artwork, as well as the challenging history which gave it life both as a work of art and as a historical artifact. Curator and Rush Arts Philadelphia, Gallery Director Noah Smalls will facilitate the conversation with John J. Abner.
The work titled “Freedom Now!” by John Abner is a historical artifact removed from the scene of the June 26, 1992 incident which left beloved community window washer Charles Matthews dead after Philadelphia Police responded to reports that Matthews was intoxicated with a gun and fired more than 90 shots at him through a window. The “Freedom Now!” work, constructed inside of the actual window frame removed from the scene, is powerful as both art and artifact. Abner’s elegant collage of rage and history work to encapsulate the brutality faced in black communities at the hands of police, as well as the activist responses staged in the moments that follow and the years beyond.
Image credit: Freedom Now! By artist John Abner, Image by Noah Smalls