Otis Houston Jr - America


Otis Houston Jr. can frequently be found making art, performance, poetry and social commentary at his long-held spot in New York City at the entrance to the FDR drive at 122 Street. Over the years, he has come to occupy and claim this marginalized stretch of the FDR as gallery, studio, and public forum. Since 1997, following a period of incarceration and his mother’s death, Houston Jr. has set up shop weekly at this self-anointed soapbox under the Triborough Bridge, where he stages impromptu performances and displays an arrangement of signage, drawings, and found-object assemblages that critique racism, poverty and addiction, and also celebrate health, education, happiness, and freedom. As he says, “We not in the same boat, but we all in the water.” The works of Houston Jr., who calls himself “Black Cherokee,” are made primarily with discarded objects that he collects from the street and the dumpster at his job, and creates in his East Harlem apartment of 30 years, or in the basement of the office building where he works in Midtown Manhattan.

Essentially, this album is a stark reminder that Otis Houston Jr is better than you, in more ways than you are (maybe) willing to admit…..



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