A Farwell Feast…

Willie Birch

Birch paints everyday situations in great detail to construct compelling narratives. In 'A Farewell Feast...' a fashionable urban interior, decorated with colorful masks and framed pictures, serves as the setting for a banquet. Guests sit on the floor along both sides of a low table. Although we may wonder whether the white-haired man at the right is the honored, departing guest, what is most apparent about the group is its diversity. The artist accentuates these differences through the dress, pose, features, and expressions. Birch's paintings, drawings, and prints frequently address the life he witnesses on urban streets, "the forgotten America that suffers from premeditated, as well as unintentional neglect." Here, in this hopeful image, he has taken us inside to share the friendships and conversations of a community.
Date of Birth
(b. 1942)
Gouache on paper with paper-mâché frame
37 7/16 x 49 5/8 in. (95.09125 x 126.0475 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
The Harold A. and Ann R. Sorgenti Collection of Contemporary African-American Art