Beginning as a teacher in the South Bronx in 1981, Tim Rollins set out to combine art-making with learning. This became the foundation for K.O.S., Kids of Survival, a group of student-artists with whom Rollins formed a collaborative team. Rollins and K.O.S. often compose their paintings on pages from books, usually classical texts of European art and literature. Amerika IX is from a series of paintings entitled Amerika which were based on Franz Kafka's book by the same name, and the source of the pages used in the painting itself. The imagery that emerged is that of golden horns, taken from the text of the book. Rollins asked the students: "If you could be a golden instrument, if you could play a song of your freedom and dignity and your future and everything you feel about Amerika and this country, what would your horn look like?" The paintings in the Amerika series are a response to this question. Rollins and K.O.S. teamed up with a group of youth from Charlotte to create Amerika IX, a unique collaborative project influenced by the sensibilities of the Kids of Charlotte.

Place object was created: United States

watercolor, charcoal, acrylic, pencil, book pages, linen

Measurements:    height: 69 inches    width: 168.75 inches    depth: 1.5 inches

Gift of the Artists and Knight Gallery, Spirit Square Center for the Arts, with support from the North Carolina Arts Council 1987.33 © Tim Rollins, K.O.S. and Kids of Charlotte, 1987

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