Iris Project debuts “The Sea’s Own Children.” Khari Turner’s first solo exhibition with the gallery employs water as a universal connecting force in celebration of contemporary black portraiture. Turner first incorporated ocean water into his practice during his time at the Iris Project Residency in the summer of 2020. Collecting water from the oceans and riverways of his personal history roots his work in the historical and spiritual journeys of black bodies in America. It is Turner’s way to “conceptually talk about masculinity, Blackness, and strength, but also vulnerability and beauty.” Turner uses the collected water to abstract his painted black figures until only the mouth, nose and often hands retain their definition, foregrounding aspects of the black figure often devalued by the Euro-centric art world and western civilization in general.

In “The Sea’s Own Children” Turner develops this practice further, extending his focus towards the representation of different aspects of Black Culture and Afropunk that are not yet mainstream. Turner celebrates these distinct styles and attributes while also highlighting the ever-present tensions and issues surrounding visibility. Turner is a catalyst in a transitioning art world. His work honors and reflects the Black Artist Movement of the 60’s and 70’s while also offering a possible path forward.

Due to Covid19 precautions, there will sadly be no opening reception for the exhibition, but the gallery has extended hours on March 18 and 19. Appointments are not required, but indoor visitors will be limited. For all inquiries please email

On view: March 18 – April 25, 2021

What: “The Sea’s Own Children”
Where: Iris Project, 953 Amoroso Place, Venice, 90291

When: By appointment – extended hours March 18 & 19, 2021