Residency Art Gallery is extremely pleased to present the inaugural installment of The New Contemporaries. This group exhibition ran from June 16th through August 25th, 2018. The New Contemporaries, Vol I featured all-new work from Alex Anderson, Felipe Baeza, Lorenzo Baker, Coleman Collins, Aaron Estrada, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Kohshin Finley, texas isaiah, Devin B. Johnson, Kya Lou, Star Montana, Elliot Reed and Vaughn Spann. Curated by Rick Garzon
Throughout history, Black and Latinx human bodies have been subjected to exploitation and experimentation with events such as the Tuskegee experiments, forced sterilization of Latin women during the 60s, slave phrenology experiments and more. In more recent times, Black and Latinx culture is fetishized upon through appropriation within mainstream media. This exhibition will be a survey of how Black and Latinx bodies have evolved outside the space of the aforementioned events to show that we are much more than tools for appropriation and objectivity. Works included in this exhibition will examine ideas of empowerment, acceptance, sexuality, gender identity, culture and community stemming from the artists’ own identities and experiences.
The New Contemporaries project is a bi-annual exhibition showcasing new work from emerging artists from around the country. The artists involved are practitioners from varying mediums – including photography, performative works, printmaking, painting and sculpture. Programming surrounding the project will include live performances, community dialogues and artist talks. 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 these artists to recover their personal narratives as people of color existing in today’s society but also creatively reshape history. Residency continues to celebrate these contemporary artists in a space that safe for all genders, races and cultures.
Alex Anderson is an MFA candidate at University of California, Los Angeles, a graduate of Swarthmore College, and a former resident artist at the China Academy of art during his tenure as a Fulbright scholar. During his undergraduate work, he studied abroad at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute. He is represented by Gavlak Gallery in Los Angeles.
Felipe Baeza incorporates painting and collage to examine how memory, migration and displacement work to create a state of hybridity and fugitivity. Recent exhibitions include 4 Artists, Fredericks & Freiser, NY; Demolition WoManhood, Commonwealth and Council and Skibum MacArthur, L.A.; No Longer Yours, The Mistake Room/Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City; Kaleidoscope, Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York, NY .He is the 2017 recipient of the The Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Traveling Fellowship and The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation Fellowship. Felipe Baeza was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. Baeza received his BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2009 and an MFA in painting from Yale School of Art in 2018. He lives and works in New York.
Lorenzo Baker is a Los Angeles based artist investigating the nuances of American culture. His artwork focuses on how language constructs our perceptions of objects. By using socio-political imagery and found objects, Lorenzo’s work plays on the nuances of popular culture as a way to elevate, demobilize, or rearrange American social hierarchies. Originally from Sacramento, CA Lorenzo has worked at The Crocker Art Museum as an Art Corps Fellow on the community outreach project Block by Block, which serviced over 25,000 Sacramento residents through arts engagement. Throughout his career, Lorenzo has worked within the City of Sacramento City Council District 5 on community event advertisement and promotion for programs such as Summer Youth Leadership Camp, HP Roseville’s Tech Trek, and Summer at City Hall. Over the past year, Lorenzo has interned at ArtworxLA, and worked at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art as an Artist Assistant. In 2018 Lorenzo received his MFA from Otis College of Art and Design where he co- curated an exhibition titled, Black Light. Black Light was an exploration into Afrofuturism, a distinct mode of representation that reimagines a multiplicity of future identities for black individuals and communities in order to critically engage with contemporary issues.
Coleman Collins is an artist, writer, and athlete from Stone Mountain, GA. He employs printmaking, sculpture, video, and installation to contend with issues related to the notion of an African diaspora, world history, linguistics, psychoanalysis, and post-colonial theory. In 2006, Coleman received a B.A. with a focus in Film & Media Theory from Virginia Tech. In 2007 he received an M.S. in Education from the same institution. He then went on to play professional basketball for 9 years domestically and internationally. His time spent abroad – living in France, Germany, Ukraine, Bosnia, and Bahrain – greatly affected his outlook and engagement with the world. While playing, he was a columnist for ESPN the Magazine, relating sports to issues of world politics, race, and culture. Upon concluding his basketball career, he moved to Los Angeles, where he recently graduated with an MFA in New Genres at UCLA. He was a 2017 resident at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. In the fall of 2018, he will begin studying at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. He speaks five languages and enjoys cooking, world cinema, South African house music, and Scrabble.
Aaron D. Estrada was raised around the Downtown Los Angeles/Pico Union and Crenshaw District. Aaron received his BA from University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently enrolled for his MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Sculpture + Extended Media program. Aaron’s works investigate identity and socioeconomic cultural signifiers: territory symbols, tags, altars, murals, and other esoteric residue. The intent is to honor and give new life to these signifiers as an entryway into conversations revolving around identity. Aaron has recently exhibited his art internationally in Mexico City as apart of the CONDO 2018 exhibitions, organized by TMR. He was also included in the New American Paintings Catalog, Issue: 133 Pacific Coast, Juror: Rita González.
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She is a 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient. Tatyana is the creator of Stop Telling Women to Smile, an international street art series that tackles gender based street harassment. The public art series can be found on walls across the globe, amassing international attention for tackling violence against women in public spaces. Tatyana has been profiled by the New York Times, NPR, and listed as one of Brooklyn’s most influential people by Brooklyn Magazine. She has lectured at the Brooklyn Museum, New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, several universities including Stanford, Brown, USC, and Pratt Institute. Her work has been featured on TV networks BET and Oxygen as well as Spike Lee’s feature film Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. She is the Art Consultant on the Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in several cities across the states.
LA native and current resident, Finley, earned his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Finley’s work depicts strong people of color forced to carry the burden of past and present American discrimination and racial prejudice. The subjects of his paintings use these tribulations as armor for their journey through everyday life. These visual moments facilitate conversations on the struggles people of color have to endure to survive and to thrive. Being born and raised in the contentious racial and social climate of South Central Los Angeles, Finley now taps into his own Black-Mexican heritage and experiences to create each painting. His friends and family are the subjects of these paintings, captured while they have visceral conversations about navigating the world as people of color. Prior to each painting, Finley writes poems stemming from these conversations and interlaces them with his own history to tell a personal story that takes on a new life on the canvas. By telling stories that are honest to both his subjects and himself, Finley’s paintings establish genuine trust with the viewer, allowing sincere conversation to begin. Finley creates paintings in this way to honor my own vulnerabilities, as well as those of his subjects, giving the viewer permission to discover something about themselves (in the precarious present).
texas isaiah is a visual narrator from Brooklyn, NY. He currently resides in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. texas isaiah has exhibited numerous spaces including the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), the Kitchen (NYC), the Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), Charlie James Gallery (Los Angeles), Slought Foundation (Philadelphia), and New Space Center for Photography (Portland). His work has been featured in the FADER, Killens Review of Arts & Letters, Paper Safe magazine, the Photographic Journal and Spook mag. texas isaiah’s work has been featured on several catalogue and book covers: the 2017-2018 exhibition catalogue at the Studio Museum in Harlem and Fred Moten’s “stolen life (consent not to be a single being)”. In 2017, texas isaiah was featured in TIME as one of the top ’12 African American photographers you should follow right now’.
Johnson was born in Los Angeles in 1992. Johnson is currently enrolled in his MFA program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Devin B. Johnson works within the multi-disciplinary language of painting, sculpture, installation and sound. His work is based on decoding socio-cultural narratives such as placement and identity. His use of found imagery and founds material create works that aim to make sense of the symbols and identifiers that are indicative of the black body. As Johnson searches for a way to deconstruct motifs and symbols, he deploys free association in way of collage to arrive at a playful improvised response. The work acts as a rhythmic language embedded with metaphorical or symbolic meaning.
Kya Lou was born and raised in San Diego, CA and now continues her practice in Los Angeles. Lou’s practice is steeped in the roles of photography, sculpture, video, audio, and performance. As a queer artist of color, her work questions her existence within the framework of the study of social, political and cultural histories. The purpose of her study is to understand how certain bodies exist as branches without roots and that makes things come round in queer ways. She will receive her BA from the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture in 2018. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Eastern Projects Gallery, Month of Photography Los Angeles, among others.
Star Montana is a photo-based artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She was born and raised in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, which is predominantly Mexican American and serves as the backdrop to much of her work. Star’s imagery deals with class, social environment, and identity within the personal, her family. Three dots and Tear drops: a long term project with her family that has dealt with fragmented histories, loss, and the hope of the next generation was on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. More recently, she has begun to work on her themes within a larger scope of Los Angeles residents via portraiture and video which resulted her in most recent solo show I Dream of Los Angeles at the Main Museum. Montana received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2013 and is currently working on her Masters of Fine Art at USC.
Reed is an LA based performance artist. His work investigates the mundane aspects of digital citizenship, sexuality, and self-hood. Teetering between epiphany and total collapse, Elliot constructs and bends his narratives utilizing, objects, voice, humor, and music. Shows in LA include The Hammer Museum, The LA Public Art Biennial, The Broad, Human Resources, PØST, The Box, UCLA, Commonwealth & Council, University of Southern California, and OUE Skyspace. He has also shown at VFD London, MOOI Collective Mexico City, The Gene Siskel Film Center, and venues in Paris, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, and Osaka. As of 2018 he has given artist presentations at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Macalester College, University of Minnesota, and won the inaugural Bar-fund artist grant.
Vaughn Spann lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. He received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University in 2014 and an MFA in painting from Yale School of Art in 2018. He has been invited to participate in numerous exhibitions, which include shows at The Reginald Lewis Museum, RushArts, Cultural Center of African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), Fredericks & Freiser and The Newark Museum. Spann was a recipient of the esteemed Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship in 2017.