Located in New York City, specifically the Lower East Side is the luxury salon, Orchard & Ludlow that also doubles as an art gallery. When clients enter our salon, they will find some of the best hairstylists in NYC as well as paintings by the talented artist Mark West.
The beautiful artwork that can be found in our unisex salon is for sale and features blackface art that West tells a story with. Just a month ago, on September 17, we hosted an art talk in which West shared his journey to becoming an artist, how he uplifts the black community and the meaning behind his blackface art.
When West started embracing his creativity, he found that as a black artist it was difficult to break into a field that was primarily dominated by white people. He would go door-to-door for mentorship opportunities and either be denied, or have to pay an incredibly large sum. West, shared this tale to our audience who attended the talk, donning face masks respecting our Covid-19 restrictions.
West’s past is what inspired him to open his gallery, the Mark West Center for the Arts, in Manhattan. The gallery serves as a space for aspiring artists, especially minority ones, to have their artwork showcased in an area with frequent visitors and other well-known galleries.
While surrounded by the best barbers in NYC, West went into depth on his blackface art and even answered questions on what he believes his ancestors would think of his artwork. For West, his blackface art is about taking back the power that is his. He was honest in saying that he believes his ancestors would think he has a lot of audacity for painting these but , he also thinks they would have a laugh at his boldness.
The art talk was held with wine available for guests and a floor open for questions that they could ask West himself.