THE BANG BANG PROJECT BY ARTIST CESAR CONDE
For the artist, see Cesar Conde (artist). Cesar Conde is an American media executive, currently serving as Chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group. In this role, Conde has oversight of NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, including editorial and business operations for the award-winning television and digital properties.
Born: Manila, Philippines, 1963
A product of the Filipino diaspora, Conde landed in Chicago’s west side 40 years ago. He then moved to Seattle and where he participated in Seattle’s first school busing integration program. He resettled in the Windy City 28 years ago.
Conde is a contemporary painter who deals with relevant social issues. He is an artist and activist who believes that art is a powerful tool for social change. He tackles issues across color lines and communities. As an intersectional artist, Conde believes that we can create empathy and with that, we can affect actions for the good of humanity. He studied at Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. He also studied with the French master, Patrick Betaudier in his atelier in southern France and with Ed Hinkley in Chicago.
Angered by the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Conde created “In The Hood – Portraits of African American Professionals Wearing a Hoodie” in collaboration with his friends and other activists who were his subjects for the series placing professionals in a hoodie altering their reality to our racist societies perspective of black bodies. The main theme is “Perception” vs. “Reality”. African American lawyers, doctors, business owners, pilots, Artists were amongst his collaborators who wore a hoodie to re-examine and co-protest with societies biased against black men and women and the disproportionate amount of killings by the police. This series won the first “Paul Collins Diversity Award” in ArtPrize 2014. In November 2014, “The Bang Bang Project” was conceptualized during the protest march on Michigan Ave. after the acquittal of Michael Brown’s killer in Ferguson, Missouri. It focuses on “Racism” and “Police Brutality”. Conde found collaborators to be subjects of these difficult works placing collaborators on the sidewalk as if they were holding on to their last breath, having their dreams deferred. The collaborators in the paintings became the activators for the viewers to re-think our current judicial and policing system. They became ACTIVISTS.
Conde’s current series called “AmeriKKKa – Reflection of a Divided Nation” which echoes the racist narrative of the current Trump regime recording epithets thrown at immigrants, POC’s, marginalized groups, and African-Americans during his campaign to his current white house occupancy.
Conde has exhibited nationally and internationally most recently at Purdue University, The Field Museum, Chicago, Museo de Arte Moderno in Turin, Italy, He is part of the 17th annual juried exhibition at Freeport Art Museum in Freeport, IL. Conde has exhibited in France, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Taiwan, Germany, and in and around the U.S.A.
Conde came to the states at an early age of 9 in Chicago's west side. The following year, Conde found himself in Seattle and became part of the desegregation program. It was in these early years when Conde experienced racism. Often bullied and picked on for his size, color, and accent, Conde relied on silence and invisibility. His strong black female principal and vice-principal realized the challenges of the few minorities in their middle school, they sent Conde along with other students of color to a "Race Camp" where he would soon be politicized. In "Race Camp", Conde learned about the power of the vote, our voices mattered no matter who we are, the color of our skin, our gender, or where we came from. This week-long session about Racism and it effects ignited Conde's passion for Art for Social Movement. He found his voice as he learned that "Voices unheard are useless." During college, Conde lived in Sevilla, Spain, and Guadalajara, Mexico. He attended demonstrations against Apartheid and had the privilege to ask the Rev. Demond Tutu a question during a teleconference at the University of Washington.
Prior to becoming a full-time painter, Conde was performing with Pintig Cultural Group, a Filipino American Theatre Company based in Chicago where they tackled issues on immigration, identity, and the diaspora. He served briefly as the executive director of the company and has performed with Rasaka Theater Company and had done various commercials as well as video and film work. As an out and proud member of the LGBTQ community, Conde is always conscious of the inequity and microaggressions we encounter on a daily basis. Though most of his works have political and social justice undertones, Conde redeems the beauty of humanity. Forever hopeful that we all can get along and that ART can bring us together.