The National Gallery of Jamaica Blog reports that the selection of the juried section of the Jamaica Biennial 2014 was completed on October 20. Judges Diana Nawi and Sara Hermann selected 65 works by 53 artists. The gallery is still receiving submissions by the invited artists (the submission period ends on November 7). Here are excerpts of the blog’s information on two of the six specially invited artists: Renee Cox and Richard Mark Rawlins:
Renee Cox is a New York-based photographer and mixed media artist who is known for her seminal and at times controversial presentation of Afrofuturistic photography to the art world. She has also worked as a fashion photographer in Paris and New York. Cox was born in Jamaica and moved to New York where she received a degree in Film Studies at Syracuse University. Cox has been featured in many museum exhibition including the Spelman Museum of Fine Art (2013), the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art (2008), the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke (2006), the Brooklyn Museum (2001), the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston (1996), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1993), to name a few. Cox’s work was recently featured in the book and exhibition Pictures from Paradise: A Survey of Contemporary Carribean Photography as part of the Contact Photography Festival 2014 in Toronto, Canada.
[. . .] The Jamaica Biennial 2014 will feature a selection from Cox’s latest body of work, Sacred Geometryconsists of digitally manipulated black and white portraits that display self-similar patterns. They are executed with precision, creating sculptural kaleidoscopes of the human body while exploring the power of symbols as elements of collective imagination. The inspiration for Cox’s new work comes from fractals, a mathematical concept centuries old and used by many ancient African cultures. “Sacred Geometry” has also been the result of Cox’s embrace of the digital world. Bridging the gap between the old and new technology has brought on new challenges and endless possibilities Renee Cox’s biennial submission will be shown at National Gallery West.
Richard Mark Rawlins is a graphic designer and contemporary artist who lives and works in Trinidad. He is the publisher of the online magazine Draconian Switch (www.artzpub.com), and collaborator in the Alice Yard contemporary art-space initiative. His most recent exhibition, STEUPPS (2013), took place at Medulla Art Gallery, Port of Spain, Trinidad. He has had several solo exhibitions in Trinidad and was a resident artist in Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA (2012). His work has also been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design, New York (2010) and in Kingston, Jamaica (2012).
Rawlins will feature two new works at the Jamaica Biennial 2014, Finding Black and #DidYouHearYourself, a scathing commentary in political mores in contemporary Trinidad. He had the following to say about the series Finding Black: ‘I think the control and presentation of one’s own image is an important concern. How you are perceived shouldn’t be defined by passing “poplitical” references which often make simplistic, stereotypical or racist depictions of blackness.’
[Image above: Renee Cox – From the Sacred Geometry series (2014)]