In October 1968 at the Mexico City Olympics medal ceremony, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists and sparked a symbol of empowerment that has endured and evolved through generations. Referencing this symbol within the context of the very recent and still ongoing demonstrations in the movement for Black Lives, Kirk’s recent series of richly toned, viscerally rendered, emotionally charged paintings treat it as a template for a kind of abstract portraiture as well as a gesture of solidarity understood the world over. Parrasch Heijnen, 1326 S. Boyle Ave., Boyle Heights; open by appointment through August 7; parraschheijnen.com.
Forrest Kirk. Fist 7, at Parrasch Heijnen