About the Project
Prophesied is a dedication to James “Yaya” Hough, mentor to the artist, Russell Craig. Hough’s mentorship of Craig began while they were incarcerated together at Graterford Prison. This powerful portrait is made of leather bags sewn together, and painted in Hough’s likeness. When you look closer, you find miniature, multimedia portraits of Yaya and other Black men throughout, representing the many iterations of the subject throughout his 27 years in prison. The patchwork of dismembered leather bags sourced from a former inmate and friend of Russell is tough and tanned, intended to call attention to the oppression and brutality from law enforcement, and mass incarceration Black people face in the United States. Russell enjoys the play of different materials – not just the physical application of paint with brush, but also the narrative and meaning of those materials.
Art for Justice Fund
City of Philadelphia
National Endowment for the Arts
The African American Museum in Philadelphia