The Billie Holiday Theatre Celebrates Black History Month With The Sky’s The Limit: Music is My Resistance Exhibition Featuring Sherwin Banfield’s B.I.G Sculpture Honoring Hip Hop Icon Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace
The Billie Holiday Theatre, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and culture organizations, will commemorate Black History Month with the launch of “Sky’s The Limit: Music is My Resistance, a unique visual art exhibition experience exploring the concept of Black resistance through music. Launching on February 15, the exhibition will be anchored by renowned visual artist Sherwin Banfield’s larger-than-life sculpture of hip hop icon Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace (AKA Biggie). Originally unveiled in DUMBO in 2022 to much fanfare, the piece – named “Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings” – will make its way to Biggie’s own Bed Stuy neighborhood where the nine foot statue will take centerstage in The Billie’s lobby and gallery hall. Additionally, a selection of Banfield’s smaller sculpted pieces will be on display. The exhibition will also feature works from other artists and all works will be available for sale including the “Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings” sculpture.
In celebration of the “Sky’s The Limit: Music is My Resistance opening, The Billie will host a kick-off reception on February 15th with music and light refreshments, remarks from the institution’s Executive Director Shadawn Smith, and a Q&A with Sherwin Banfield. Later in the month on February 28, The Billie will present an artist talk on the topic of music as resistance featuring Banfield, hip hop historian Leroy McCarty, and legendary DJ, VJ and video producer Ralph McDaniels.
Scheduled to run through May 30, Sky’s The Limit: Music is My Resistance takes a look at how music has played an integral role in the journey, survival and advancement of African Diasporic people. Through the lens of the art forms of sculpture, painting and photography, it will examine the multi-layered concept of music as a voice for the voiceless, a change agent, and a vehicle for storytelling. Serving as the focal point of the exhibition will be Banfield’s massive stainless steel and bronze installation created in tribute to the Notorious B.I.G who is considered one of the greatest hip hop artist of all time and whose powerful street narratives shifted the culture. Consisting of a crowned bust of Biggie’s head sitting on top of a steel frame and supported by panels that display the rapper’s many achievements, the mixed media monument offers a different representation of Black artists in the space of public art and seeks to inspire and “spread love the Brooklyn Way.” The structure also includes an exclusive mix curated by DJ Mister Cee playing on its internal solar-power speakers.
Additionally, smaller Biggie-centric sculpted pieces created by Banfield will also be on display featuring: limited edition Biggie portrait busts; maquettes of “Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings”; the “Lion Protectors Of St. James Place”; “BIG Hand, The Throne” sculpture as well as framed prints and postcards. Additionally, the exhibition will include photography by Kamel B. Michael Young, Marcia Wilson, Hollis King, Kay Hickman and Ron West and paintings by Sam Goodsell, Derrick Cross, Nelsena Burt Spano, Izac Sissoko, Mona Morton, Larry Weekes.