art curatorial collective

Current & Past


Johalla Projects is pleased to present the work of Chicago-based Chicago based artist, Nikko Washington in his first solo exhibition, Fight of the Century, to explore the role of violence, racism, and the use and misuse of the black body within sports, history, the media, and within the confines of daily life.

Growing up in a family of trained martial artists, Washington earned a black belt and learned discipline and control at a young age, which not only inspired this exhibition, but also his approach to his painting practice. Not a traditionally trained painter, Washington learned the importance of practice in the art of mastering a craft, especially one like oil painting. Painting in a way is a lot like fighting — a very physical activity with rhythmic strokes like jabs, and quick movements around the canvas. Washington says that “brutalism is the most difficult thing within yourself,” and he seeks to explore this through his work that touches on not just physical violence, but the emotional and metaphysical kind too. The Black artist, much like the Black athlete, is expected to perform with composure, amidst scrutiny, and the spectacle, while also remaining self poised.