Residency Art Gallery is extremely pleased to present the second installment of The New Contemporaries. This group exhibition will run from April 10th through June 5th with an opening reception that will take place on Saturday, April 10th, 2021 from 11am to 6pm. The New Contemporaries, Vol. 2 will feature all-new work from Yasmine Nasser Diaz, Veronica Fernandez, Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., Fabian Guerrero, February James, Larry Li, Yvette Mayorga, Carmen Neely, Na’ye Perez, Devin Reynolds and Bradley Ward. Throughout U.S. history, Black, Latinx and Asian bodies have been subjected to rampant forms of violence, exploitation and experimentation. Such events include forty years of the Tuskegee Study, the forced sterilization of Latin women in Los Angeles during the late 60s and early 70s, slave phrenology experiments presented as science, exclusionary immigration policies and more. In more recent times, our bodies and culture continue to be fetishized, commodified, and appropriated within mainstream media. This exhibition is a survey of how Black, Latinx and Asian bodies have evolved outside the space of the aforementioned events, as we are much more than objects of scientific racism or tools for appropriation. Works included in this exhibition will examine themes of empowerment, acceptance, sexuality and gender identity, culture and community stemming from each artists’ own identity and experience.


The New Contemporaries is Residency Art Gallery’s flagship project that showcases new work from emerging artists across the country. The featured artists are practitioners from varying mediums – photography, performative work, printmaking, painting and sculpture. The New Contemporaries project embodies the core mission of Residency Art Gallery by highlighting artists of color whose bodies of work center around socio-political, gender and community themes. The work shown in The New Contemporaries challenges artists to recover their personal narratives as people of color existing in today’s society and provides a platform to creatively reshape our collective history. Residency continues to celebrate these contemporary artists in a space that is safe for all genders, races and cultures. Special programming surrounding the project will include live performances, community dialogues and artists’ talks.

Installation Images 


About The Artists

Yasmine Nasser Diaz

Yasmine Nasser Diaz is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice weaves between culture, class, gender, religion, and family. She uses mixed media collage, immersive installation, fiber etching, and video to juxtapose disparate cultural references and to explore the connections between personal experience and larger social and political structures. Born and raised in Chicago to parents who immigrated from the rural highlands of southern Yemen, Diaz is interested in complicated narratives of third-culture identity and their precarious invisibility/hyper-visibility. Diaz is a recipient of the Harpo Visual Artists Grant and the California Community Foundation Visual Artist Fellowship and has works included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The University of California Los Angeles, and the Arab American National Museum. Her work has been featured in HyperAllergic, Artsy, and Artillery Magazine. She lives and works in Los Angeles.


Veronica Fernandez

Veronica Fernandez (1998) is a mixed media artist that discusses relationships between people and their environments. Frequently using personal memorabilia and experiences as a canon for her pieces, she explores the various ways we perceive our ever- fluctuating memories over time and the atmospheres around us. Using colorful, varying sized canvases full of an eclectic array of textures, paint is used as an expressive vehicle to highlight themes of disconnection, impermanence, and reconstruction, meanwhile putting a focus on the alternate realities we enter when reflecting on our past and present. In these pieces, she uses techniques of fragmentation, and abstraction of space to form narratives about individuals and how the factors of their environment influence them, meanwhile discussing the indefinite roles we can take on in the world at any moment. Incorporating figures at human scale allows spectators to engage with these unfamiliar environments and project themselves into these unpredictable headspaces, bringing a familiarity back into the moment. This sharing of experience allows her to speak to a community and discuss our foundations as people: where we come from, how we are shaped, and how we interact with one another.


Alfonso Gonzalez Jr.

Alfonso Gonzalez Jr. (b. 1989) is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist. He attended LA Trade Technical College where he studied Sign Graphics. During his formative years, Gonzalez worked on large-scale hand-painted outdoor advertisements that ranged up to 200 feet. These experiences formally fuel his current art practice, where he syntheses the visual vernacular of local working-class neighborhoods. In his paintings, he excavates the surfaces of buildings to understand how these communities interact with one another and the traces they leave. His work has been exhibited at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery (Los Angeles), Galeria Javier Lopez (Madrid), Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, VA), Maki Gallery (Tokyo), Gamma Galleria (Guadalajara), as well as various other locations in North America, Asia, and Europe. He has organized shows in Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Guadalajara.


Fabian Guerrero

I am Fabián Guerrero, a queer, first generation Mexican American based in Los Ángeles, born in Dallas, TX. I work with film and photography to document, creating images that reflect on pasts, presents and possible futures of our generation. My work both reflects and is inspired by my upbringing as first generation immigrant and a queer brown individual; taking from fashion, film, poems and music, the lifestyle and everyday survival, to shed light into my family’s history and the meanders of the brown and queer communities.


February James

My interests center around the themes of Perception, Meaning, and Identity. I wish to explore both how identity emerges from the filtration of reality through subjective experience. Probing cultural transmissions and oral histories in the pursuit of my work. My lived experience has moved me to investigate these behavioral scripts and complexities within the black identity. My personal history will always follow the work because it is the lens through which I create. The overarching message is about personal transformations. Changing ourselves which will in turn change our environment. I’m looking at the past and my personal history, to create a visual language that aims to change future conversations – changing this social intercourse that is passed down from generation to generation accompanied by the stories and the habits that we’ve inherited. My work can be described as an evocation that responds too memory. The portraits are sometimes profoundly personal, with some constantly thrusting its confrontational gaze upon the viewer, demanding to be acknowledged while at the same time refusing to perform for the onlookers glare. I am conjuring up portraits that are located at the nexus between the private self and the public persona. Collecting these narrative impulses within the work that keep circulating back to the space of uncertainty, dealing with familia and the framework that shapes our identity. February James – from Washington DC living and working in Los Angeles


Larry Li

Larry Li is a Chinese American artist born and raised in the bay area, California. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California, pursuing an MFA at the Otis School of Art and Design. He holds a BFA from USC Roski School of Fine art. Working primarily through figurative painting and collage, he aims to create works that visualize his inherited experiences and Chinese diasporic narratives. His work has been shown in the 2020 AXA art prize exhibition at the New York academy of art as a top 40 finalist, and will be featured in the New American Paintings MFA annual issue 153. As an undergraduate at USC he was one of two 2020 Macomber travel grant recipients, and was able to fund his research conducted in ZhengZhou China for his first solo show at Lindhurst Gallery, titled Inherited Fruits.


Yvette Mayorga

Yvette Mayorga is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Her work interrogates the broad effects of militarization within and beyond the US/Mexico border and intervenes in the colonial legacies of art history. She fuses confectionary labor with found images to explore the meaning of belonging. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Vincent Price Art Museum, DePaul Art Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the Center for Craft, the Museo Universitario del Chopo, LACMA’s Pacific Standard Time:LA/LA, NXTHVN, Art Design Chicago, the Chicago Artists Coalition, the National Museum of Mexican Art, GEARY Contemporary, EXPO, and Untitled Art Fair. In 2020 Mayorga’s project, “Meet me at the Green Clock,” was commissioned by Johalla Projects as part of the exhibition “Andy Warhol–From A to B and Back Again” at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work will be included in the forthcoming exhibition ESTAMOS BIEN: LA TRIENAL 20/21, El Museo del Barrio’s inaugural large-scale survey of contemporary Latinx art. Mayorga’s practice has been featured in publications such as Artforum, Artnet, Art in America, Art News, Hyperallergic, NewCity, Teen Vogue, The Guardian, and The New York Times. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the DePaul Art Museum and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She has participated in the Fountainhead Residency and BOLT Residency, and is a recipient of the MAKER Grant. She holds an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies
from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Carmen Neely

Carmen Neely explores the use of gesture and material as both metaphor and narrative agent. Her practice centers around expressions of identity and memory through the vehicle of gestural abstraction. She considers her work a tool for translation. Neely’s paintings, drawings and sculptural works have been featured in Art in America, Luxe Interiors, ARTFORUM, and Hyperallergic. Recent solo exhibitions include; Lifelines, Setareh Gallery, Dusseldorf, DE, and Not a tourist, Jane Lombard Gallery, New York, NY. Neely has been a resident artist at Sparkbox Studio, Vermont Studio Center, and The McColl Center for Art + Innovation. She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.


Na’ye Perez

Na’ye Perez is a Brooklyn based interdisciplinary artist. Pulling from his experiences growing up in Columbus, Ohio, LA and Camden, NJ as well New York. My practice is a type of remixing, similar to how a sound engineer or producer would sample hooks, beats or choruses to create new music. However, instead I collage materials such as Backwoods, Swishers Sweets, magazines, historical archives, and personal memorabilia in conjunction with symbols, colors, and patterns to framework my art. By navigating through personal experience and memory, the importance of intimacy within my community and self establishes my narrative and modes of accessibility. My work uses everyday interaction such as playing cards in gallery spaces via a performance, riding bikes through the neighborhood through a painting to connect with individuals. These moments are juxtaposed between hidden symbolism of music, fashion, and black history. By shifting the narratives to one of embrace and empowerment without a reliance on trauma. Whether its exposure of color seen in contemporary popular fashion, or aesthetics of graffiti and street art, they become layers of texture and imagery for the environment and the people depicted carry out their lives and share experience in each work. Noting on these ideas, they become intertwined with resistance and the black presence through everyday life in my work.


Devin Reynolds

Devin Reynolds is a painter based out of New Orleans, and received his BA in Architecture from Tulane University in 2017. Originally from Venice Beach, California he grew up working as a deckhand on The Betty O, a local sport fishing boat. He was raised between flea markets, yard sales and the beach. His early childhood memories are filled with times setting up his mother’s booths at antique shows, surfing and fishing up and down the coast. Devin’s first encounters with art making came in his early twenties in the form of graffiti. His obsession for graffiti took off when he began painting his assumed alias on the sides of freight cars that traverse the railroads of North America. Devin’s art practice finds itself at the intersection of graffiti and his love for nostalgic Americana design and sign painting, through the lens of his biracial upbringing in Los Angeles. Speaking on the cultural duality of his household he says, “Growing up with a quote-un- quote black dad and white mom, I lived in two different worlds. In my mom’s world it was like Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumors and my dad’s was Tupac’s album All Eyez on Me.” Devin’s work investigates personal experience in these two worlds and their mutual relationships to social and political practices in America.


Bradley Ward

Ward is a studio draftsman and collage artist from Houston, Tx. In 2019, Ward became a MFA recipient from Pratt Institute. Most recently exploring the influx and marketability of how images of leisure and labor used as two extremes to define the black experience with no in between. Ward illustrates what is to be the grey area of black life, often utilizing sports as a go between, highlighting the downtime for context of his overlapping figures. Working with collage to conflate familial experiences and branding stemming from the black community, these facets inextricably tied with visual colloquialisms traded are used in concert to provide an escape. Highlighting charged aspects of the game; labor and its perception, as well as culturally iconic imagery to uplift expressions of survival within leisure, invoking a response as to help process the cycle of navigating one to get back to the other.