Spike Lee’s Influences Explored in Brooklyn Museum Exhibition
Learn about the inspiration and driving forces behind a prolific filmmaker and a Brooklyn icon, right in the heart of the borough that gave him his start.
“Spike Lee: Creative Sources”, now on view at the Brooklyn Museum through Feb. 4, presents an immersive look at the people, places and ideas that have shaped Lee’s filmmaking and storytelling over the years.
It’s also Brooklyn’s first major exhibition on Lee, whose persona has become inseparable from the borough.
Visitors will learn about Lee’s filmmaking through an installation of objects essential to his creative process. The exhibition shows connections between people, places and ideas and Lee’s works.
The exhibition is organized into seven thematic sections: Black American history and culture, Brooklyn, sports, music, cinema history and family.
Each section features objects that have inspired Lee (including historical photographs, costumes, film memorabilia, first-edition books and more) as well as clips from his groundbreaking films.
Organized by curator Kimberli Gant, “Spike Lee: Creative Sources” gives visitors a new way to look at how Lee’s lifelong personal interests have influenced his productions.
“By making Lee’s collection accessible to the public, this showcase celebrates his legacy while honoring his deep connection to Brooklyn, a place that has been an integral part of his storytelling,” Gant said in a press release.
The exhibition showcases not only how Brooklyn has influenced Lee in his productions, but also how Brooklyn has cemented itself as part of the broader culture over the years.
In addition to Lee’s film studio, 40 Acres and a Mule, being located in Brooklyn, many of the artists featured in the exhibit have come through Brooklyn at some point, Gant says.
“Brooklyn is a part of the world. It’s an international locale, people come here from all over the globe, it’s a sister city to so many other cities across the globe,” Gant said in an interview. “There is both a direct and indirect presence.”
Gant says she hopes that visitors feel the full range of emotions explored throughout the exhibition as they work their way through.
“A lot of the material can be heavy, but you see images of family, of joy, of dance, of fun,” Gant says. “Even if the object you’re looking at in the moment is heavy, you can also feel excited as well. You don’t have to feel just any one thing.”
“Spike Lee: Creative Sources” is a must-see for New York City natives and film fans of all ages.