artists

There’s Something Funny About Donelle Woolford

'Dick's Last Stand' at CCA Wattis in San Francisco, Feb. 6. (Courtesy CCA)

In late January, the artist Donelle Woolford, a black woman with short hair who looks to be in her mid 30s, was at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair, outfitted in a 1970s-style suit and mustache, doing a Richard Pryor routine. It went well, but it could have gone better. The book fair, she wrote in an email shortly afterward, “maybe wasn’t the best context for a Richard Pryor routine.” This particular routine was recorded as the final episode of Pryor’s 1977 television show (which only lasted four episodes) and was pretty much engineered to be censored. “I think the audience was a bit taken aback by all the N-bombs and F-bombs,” she said. Everywhere she has gone—a museum in San Francisco and community centers in Chicago and Oakland have been among her stops—audiences have reacted differently. Read More