Contemporary Art in the Americas Arte Contemporáneo en las Américas

Sour Patch

Tschabalala Self

Thierry Goldberg Gallery Miami, USA 12/05/2017 – 01/14/2018

Tschabalala Self. Installation view of Sour Patch, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Miami, 2017. Courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery

Tschabalala Self, Ice Cream, 2017. Hand-colored digital archive print on German etching paper, crayon, colored pencil, and watercolor, 21 1/2h x 16 1/2w in. Courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery

Tschabalala Self. Installation view of Sour Patch, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Miami, 2017. Courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery

Known for her sewn collage and assemblage paintings, which boldly examine contemporary perspectives on femininity, race, and gender, Tschabalala Self’s new body of work further explores the environments of identity politics by focusing specifically on bodegas—public storefronts that serve as a hallmark of lower-income Black and Latinx communities throughout New York City.

Bodegas, often locally owned small businesses that sell a basic range of necessities and act as neighborhood hubs, reflect both the triumphs and challenges of Black and Brown metropolitan life and the often limited resources presented to communities of color. Bred out of exclusion, the bodega is a space that has evolved in cultural significance and function.

“In this project,” Self-explains, “I am attempting to both paint a portrait of a community through an environment and portraits of individuals through the products they consume. The store functions as the perfect backdrop to the drama of black life, for black people have been commodified, branded and objectified throughout their historical engagement with the culture at large. Through my exploration into the products my characters consume, I am taking a holistic approach towards portraiture, defining my figures forms from the inside out.”

Self’s Bodega project also marks the artist’s first development into installation. This specific show, Sour Patch, is the second iteration and it includes paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and fabricated objects, which simulate an overall immersive experience. Overstocked shelves are filled with flattened depictions of colorful beverages and laundry detergent, with the fractured assemblages of customers that further amplify the locality and illusion of neighborhood shops like the ones so common in the Harlem neighborhood where the artist was born and raised.

Tschabalala Self (b. 1990 in Harlem, USA) lives and works in New York and New Haven. Her work is currently included in Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,  at The New Museum, New York. Selected previous exhibitions include: Tschabalala Self, Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland; Tschabalala Self, Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, UK; A Constellation, The Studio Museum Harlem, New York; A Shape That Stands Up,  Art + Practice (off-site Hammer Museum) Los Angeles, CA; Bodega Run, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London, UK; Gut Feelings,  Thierry Goldberg, New York; and The Function, T293, Naples, Italy.

www.thierrygoldberg.com

Tschabalala Self. Installation view of Sour Patch, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Miami, 2017. Courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery

Tschabalala Self, Ice Cream, 2017. Hand-colored digital archive print on German etching paper, crayon, colored pencil, and watercolor, 21 1/2h x 16 1/2w in. Courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery

Tschabalala Self. Installation view of Sour Patch, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Miami, 2017. Courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery

Known for her sewn collage and assemblage paintings, which boldly examine contemporary perspectives on femininity, race, and gender, Tschabalala Self’s new body of work further explores the environments of identity politics by focusing specifically on bodegas—public storefronts that serve as a hallmark of lower-income Black and Latinx communities throughout New York City.

Bodegas, often locally owned small businesses that sell a basic range of necessities and act as neighborhood hubs, reflect both the triumphs and challenges of Black and Brown metropolitan life and the often limited resources presented to communities of color. Bred out of exclusion, the bodega is a space that has evolved in cultural significance and function.

“In this project,” Self-explains, “I am attempting to both paint a portrait of a community through an environment and portraits of individuals through the products they consume. The store functions as the perfect backdrop to the drama of black life, for black people have been commodified, branded and objectified throughout their historical engagement with the culture at large. Through my exploration into the products my characters consume, I am taking a holistic approach towards portraiture, defining my figures forms from the inside out.”

Self’s Bodega project also marks the artist’s first development into installation. This specific show, Sour Patch, is the second iteration and it includes paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and fabricated objects, which simulate an overall immersive experience. Overstocked shelves are filled with flattened depictions of colorful beverages and laundry detergent, with the fractured assemblages of customers that further amplify the locality and illusion of neighborhood shops like the ones so common in the Harlem neighborhood where the artist was born and raised.

Tschabalala Self (b. 1990 in Harlem, USA) lives and works in New York and New Haven. Her work is currently included in Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,  at The New Museum, New York. Selected previous exhibitions include: Tschabalala Self, Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland; Tschabalala Self, Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, UK; A Constellation, The Studio Museum Harlem, New York; A Shape That Stands Up,  Art + Practice (off-site Hammer Museum) Los Angeles, CA; Bodega Run, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London, UK; Gut Feelings,  Thierry Goldberg, New York; and The Function, T293, Naples, Italy.

www.thierrygoldberg.com

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