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Monday, March 15th, 2021

Brenda Zlamany’s Mask Flags in Williamsburg


Brenda Zlamany, Mask Flag 1 featuring Justin Sterling (pictured) and Joel Lahey, 2021

Brenda Zlamany, Mask Flag 1 featuring Justin Sterling (pictured) and Joel Lahey, 2021

Defiance, celebration, warning, rallying: There are so many good reasons to unfurl a flag. Some of those hoisted above his home by artist James Esber on Williamsburg’s Grand Street entreated citizens to vote recently, although others over the years have defied the raison d’être of flags with witty subversions intellectually worthy of the bohemian ‘hood. But Brenda Zlamany’s double-sided masked portrait flags actually conform to a plague-fighting remit. Real, living human visages peep out from the functional, life-saving fabrics which themselves often deploy the signifiers and tropes of heraldry: symbols, fields, words. A portrait of fellow artist Justin Sterling peers out from a lined cloth whose tapering black strokes on a white ground recall a kaffiyeh in just the right balance of protection and resistance.

Above Store For Rent Gallery at 179 Grand Street, Brooklyn, New York. Best viewed from the north-west corner of Bedford and Grand
There are two flags alternating week by week through April 9, with changing flags at 4pm Fridays
Mask Flag 1 features Justin Sterling (pictured) and Joel Lahey, Mask Flag 2 features Helen Oji and Adé.


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