Materiality as a narrative. The work of Anya Paintsii, Moises Salazar Tlatenchi, Basil Kincaid, Natalia Arbelaez, Sydnie Jimenez, Malaika Temba and Melissa Joseph.
Mindy Solomon is pleased to present a grouping of works that express diasporic identity through material based media. Lively, textural and thoughtful- this grouping will provide an overview of what is happening socially and artistically in society today.
Basil Kincaid creates each piece, born from an initial drawing on paper that’s then scaled onto canvas and painted in thread, representing the process-oriented, collaborative and imaginative tenets of Kincaid’s methods. As the work is articulated, translated, expanded upon, and finished, it passes hands, moving on from Kincaid and into the care of Kincaid’s team of embroiderers working in the Ghana studio. They sew a range of stitches, building textures and sculpting the fabric into its final form, at which point the piece is framed in kente —a significant and symbolic West African fabric that can convey specific meanings and circumstances.
Born 1993 in Wrexham, North Wales, Anya Paintsil is a Welsh and Ghanaian artist working primarily with textiles. From rug hooking to embroidery, her assemblages evoke tactile tapestry on the one hand, and constitute semi-sculptural interventions on the other. Playful and profound, flippant and forceful, her practice engages the language of fibres — of all kinds — with interrogations of materiality and political personhood.
Moises Salazar’s utilization of clay, paper mache, glitter, and crochet are important in their work because of their cultural and personal value. The use of accessible material has always been important in their practice and in the cultural development of their communities. They use material and methods that have been passed down by generation in their family to showcase the importance of their experience and honor their endurance. Their art is a vehicle to celebrate the majesty of cultural heritage contrasted with challenges of living safely in the United States as a member of the immigrant and queer communities.
Natalia Arbelaez has embraced the use of craft and clay not only in her process but also in historical and cultural research. In her research of lost, conquered, and overlooked communities, she has found that craft belongs in her pursuit. She relates to the role of the craftsperson, often linked to women’s work, working class, and cultural tradition. The material also plays an important role as she’s examine the history of her ancestral material
Sydnie Jimenez makes figurative work of black and brown youth with varied personalities to show individuality within communities on the fringes of popular culture rooted in white supremacy. The navigation through this toxic Eurocentric foundation has shaped the way the world views black and brown people and how we view ourselves in relation to whiteness. She wants to spark conversations around style, self-expression, internal reflection, and the observation of the self by others in relation to the post-colonial society we live in along with the many connotations this has. With the rebellious and suspicious nature of her figures she wants to show the “tough” or “angry, mean, and bitchy” demeanors in which especially black and brown femmes take on or are projected onto as a defense mechanism combatting an unwelcoming society and also the radical joy and the deep sadness that permeates our experiences.
Melissa Joseph’s practice is an endless consideration of how POC and femme bodies are permitted to occupy space. She considers the work to be in conversation with painting, but they are made from textiles and other craft materials, situating them at the intersection of labor and gender. One thing that all her work shares is a sense of presence, or ‘thingness’.
Malaika Temba explores feminized “sweetness” and creative labor. Temba’s works speak to the notion of craft, multiculturalism and place— whether it be transitory or permanent. Temba’s multiculturalism and Tanzania/Swahili Coast lineage connect her strongly to the history of trade, agriculture and trucking.
Malaika Temba learned how to make visual art from listening to music. Hip-Hop— how it involves layering, a multimedia collage of instruments, voices, and machinery, and how it has the ability to convey universes of meaning via an iconic beat or ad-lib. Her work is inspired by the storytellers who relate the nuances of their experience to an overarching mission, who place Hip-Hop in its historical context, and who think about how the self-referential world honors, condemns, and progresses culture and cultural analysis.