Remixing Romare Bearden

January 8, 2013

BY Robin Cembalest

In 1977, Romare Bearden reimagined Homer’s Odyssey as a series of collages with a cast of black characters, a meditation on war and the search for a home that resonated with themes of the Great Migration. Via the Smithsonian’s Traveling Exhibition Service, “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey” has been crisscrossing the country; it ends a stint next week at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem before traveling to six other venues.

Just as Bearden used elements from Homer’s classic epic as building blocks, the Smithsonian is inviting the members of the public to use Bearden’s collage elements as their own. It has released an iPad app, “Black Odyssey Remixes,” allowing users to transform the people, animals, places, and things from Bearden’s works into original digital creations. Share your Bearden remixes here. For more inspiration, check out more of the artist’s collages in “Romare Bearden: Urban Rhythms and Dreams of Paradise,” at New York’s ACA Galleries through February 2.