Jibade-Khalil Huffman

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What Is My Work About? 

My work is about narrative. My work is about undermining narrative through various forms of text with poetry. My work is about Selma, Alabama. My work is about movies. My work is about serial imagery. My work is about suburbia. My work is set in the big city. My work stars Pearl Cleage, as herself. My work stars Paul Giamati as himself. My work is about dirty jokes. My work features a number of notable cameos. My work is “insufferable, from the very start.” My work is about the Venus Hottentot. My work is about “babies having babies.” My work is about “Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys” in both tenor and in form. My work is about layers and might be best described as the repeated attempt to replicate the depth of Aretha Franklin’s mezzo soprano. My work is about abstraction. My work is non-narrative non-fiction. My work is about collapse and litany and drugs and gambling.

Artist Statement

My work is concerned with the written (I published my first book in 2008 and continue to participate in the poetry community—writing books, giving readings and the like), the visual (this includes photography and video), and where these meet in between. This unnamable, third place (which includes performance, installation and web-based interventions) is unified in terms of the application of new forms within forms that already exist.

The subtitle, as utilized in my photographic slideshows and videos, for example, is a device not only for conveying poetic information (couplets that look like subtitles that become a poem) but also “translating” visual information (in this instance, abstractions made up of layers of projected images). In the case of the karaoke poems (love poems written to fit into karaoke form), there is an adherence to the format of karaoke only insofar as this, the scrolling text, allows the poems to take shape. The speed of the scroll, at once natural and circumspect, becomes another way of thinking about breath in the scheme of the poem, while the form itself serves as a corrective to conventions that might otherwise limit our reading of the text.



(Born Detroit, 1981)

(Lives and Works in Los Angeles, CA)



2013  MFA, Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

2005  MFA, Graduate Program in Literary Arts, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

2003  BA, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York


Selected Exhibitions/Screenings/Performances




Anthony Pearson and Jibade-Khalil Huffman: Third Person, Marianne Boesky East, New York, New York


The Four People You Meet At Every Drug Deal, Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Lake Overturn, Pacific Standard Time Presents: The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture, The Santa Monica Screening Room, Santa Monica, California

Niagara, USC Roski Gallery, Los Angeles, California

A Novella and Stories, Machine Project, Los Angeles, California


The Descent of Alette by Alice Notley: A Reading, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, California

We Don’t Believe You, You Need More People (with Martine Syms), Public Fiction, Los Angeles, California

Cameron Crawford and Jibade-Khalil Huffman: Double Jointed, curated by Megha Ratapali, Scaramouche, New York, New York


Teen Wolf/Teen Wolf Too, Mt. Tremper Arts, Mt. Tremper, New York

NOWHERE, The Home Of, Brooklyn, New York (with Eliza Newman-Saul)

Slow Reveal, or, Negro Twist Ending Where You Are Really A Negro, The Tank, New York, New York


Monster Island Czar, MoMA/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, New York


Xaviera Simmons and Jibade-Khalil Huffman: Oscillations (For A Minute There I Lost Myself), Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York


You Just Have To Go Down A Flight of Stairs, Woods Gallery, Bard College, Annandale- on-Hudson, NY




Altarations: Built, Blended, Processed, Ritter Art Gallery, Florida Atlantic University,Boca Raton, Florida


Made in L.A. 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California

Step and Repeat, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California

Rhetoric, Aran Cravey, Los Angeles, California

Rockaway!, MoMA/P.S.1/Rockaway Surf Club, New York, New York

The Machine Project Guide to the Gamble House, Pasadena, California


The Reanimation Library, Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles, California

The Stand In, Public Fiction, Los Angeles, California


New Wight Biennial 2012, UCLA New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Act 2: The Props, Public Fiction, Los Angeles, California


Pixelating: Black in New Dimensions, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art,Brooklyn, New York

Le Mots et Les Choses (Words and Things): An Evening With Future Plan and Program, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, California

So Much I Want to Say: Future Plan and Program, Houston Museum of African-American Culture, Houston, Texas

The Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, New York


I Forgot My Mantra, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, New York

Manual Transmission, Bush Gardens Rooftop, Brooklyn, New York


Wrong: A Program of Text and Image, Eighth Veil, Los Angeles, California (curator)


Game Bird Sampler, White Box Annex, New York, New York


Selected Publications



Sleeper Hold, Fence Books


James Brown Is Dead, Future Plan and Program


After Stanley Donen, Eighth Veil (editor)


19 Names For Our Band, Fence Books


Journals, Magazines, Chapbooks and Anthologies:


Baumtest, “Untitled (Thriller),” “Diet Needles,” (photographs)


The & Now Awards: The Best Innovative Writing Vol. 2, Lake Forrest College Press

from “Niagara”


Everyday Genius, “Now That I Can Dance”

Night Papers, “Poem for Cedric the Entertainer”


Exit Music (with Cynthia Gray), Collective Experience/Writing Machine


The Collector’s Guide To Emerging Art Photography, Vol. 2, Humble Arts Foundation

“Untitled #1 (from ‘Nowhere’),” “Untitled #2 (from ‘Nowhere’)” (photographs)


Line: A Journal, from “Pictures of Color

Disco Prairie Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Factory Hollow Press

from “Funeral, Mineral, Vegetable”

Poetry Society of America, “What’s American About American Poetry?”


The L Magazine, “Thank You For Your Payment to the City of New York”

A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years, Fence Books

“Framework,” “In an Uncurling Game” “’The whole cast of them in hands passing…”


Tantalum, “How I Know I’m Here”

Canarium, “James Brown is Dead”


Aufgabe, “Poem”

6×6, “Very Early in the Life of Jerome (i-vi)”

Court Green, “Where Are the Negroes in Hartford, Connecticut?,” “When delivering makeup…,”   “The Blowjob Pictures”

Bat City Review, “Fugue,” “Prayer”

The Bedazzler, “If we believe theory,” “In An Uncurling Game,” “”Those turned quiet by knives, by night…,” “Very Early in the Life of Jerome (vii),” “”You just have to go down a flight of stairs…”


Bat City Review, “Funeral, Mineral, Vegetable”

Encyclopedia, “Untitled #3,” “Untitled #9,” “Untitled #15,” “Untitled #26”

from the series “The Living Arrangements” (photographs)


FO A RM, “Wilderness Literature”

NOON, “A Paramour”


The New Orleans Review, “You just have to go down a flight of stairs…”

Boston Review, “Anyone can purchase flags ….,” “Sonnet,” “Oftener, golden rule; nude ….,” “Palimpsest,” “Diamond Zones”


(Some From) DIAGRAM: A Print Anthology, New Michigan Press, Ander Monson, editor, “Who Are These People With Their Ugly Children”

NOON, “Today Is My Birthday,” “I Can’t Stand the Summer Nights”


Selected Awards


Emerging Artist Fellowship, California Community Foundation


Artist-in-Residence, Workspace, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, New York


Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant


Jerome Foundation Fellowship/Residency, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Red Wing, Minnesota


Residency, Ucross Foundation for the Arts, Clearmont, Wyoming


Residency, Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, New York


Grolier Poetry Prize


Photography Advisory Board Scholarship, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York


Selected Bibliography


Vogel, Wendy, “25 Artists to Watch,” Modern Painters, December

Guthery, Summer, “Made in LA,” Frieze Magazine, November

Cuthbert, Robert, “Best Up-And-Coming Visual Artists in Los Angeles,” CBS Los Angeles, Apr. 14


Wolf, Kate, “Drug Dealing With Jibade-Khalil Huffman,” NY Arts Magazine, Nov. 5

Donoghue, Katie, “Material Obsession at Untitled,” Whitewall, Dec. 4

Berardini, Andrew. “Fall Preview: New Skin for an Old Ceremony,” Artslant, Sept. 10

Darling, Nikki, “The Ephemeral Texts of Jibade-Khalil Huffman,” KCET Artbound, Sept. 6

Torres, Jesus Manuel Rojas, “The Four People You Meet At Every Drug Deal by Jibade-Khalil Huffman,” What’s Up Miami: An Online Journal of the Arts


Tuck, Geoff, “The End of the New World (and) Sculpture for Jeffrey Tambor,” Notes on Looking

Laluyan, Oscar A., “Crawford & Huffman: Double Express-O,” Arte Fuse


Leopold, Rebecca, “Explosive Fragments: Poems and Photographs,” PBS Art:21 Blog


Berardini, Andrew, “Word Problems,” review of “Wrong: A Program of Text and Image,” ArtSlant

Price, Brett, review of “19 Names For Our Band,” The Octopus Magazine


“Honor Roll,” Spin Magazine


Devun, Leah, Review of Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, Art Lies