Collection 1980s–Present

Noah Davis. Untitled. 2015 269

Oil on canvas, 32 × 50" (81.3 × 127 cm). Gift of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis in honor of Jerry Speyer's 80th birthday

Artist, Navild Acosta: Hello, my name is Navlid Acosta.

Artist, Sosa: My name is Sosa. We are both very interested in pleasure, in rest, and play. “What happens when we don't sleep? What happens when we don't dream?” is a question that Black Power Naps seeks to answer.

Navild: There are two main studies that illustrate the sleep gap. The first study is illustrating that there is a one-hour gap, at minimum, between Black Americans and white Americans.

And then the other study illustrates that Black Americans are not arriving to slow-wave sleep at the frequency that white Americans are. And slow wave sleep is where we do all the reparation in our body. It's where we repair.

Sosa: Noah Davis said that his interest behind a lot of his work is to show Black people in everyday situations or show Black people in situations where they don't have to, exert themselves or show, excellence and performance. And so in this painting, Black people are depicted being at rest.

Navild: I want you to think about how rare it is to see dark-skinned feminine figures framed in the center. And truly, unapologetically asleep, resting, reposing. There are people who deny the sleep gap, but achieving rest and repairing your body is not just a cute proposal. It's necessary to extending the lives of our people.