imaginary_escapes

Interview with Shanequa Gay  
on the occasion of New Painting at The Southern

Leigh Sabisch, Gallery Associate, The Southern
December 15th, 2017 | Charleston, South Carolina USA

Interview with Shanequa Gay  
on the occasion of New Painting at The Southern

Leigh Sabisch, Gallery associate, The Southern
December 15th, 2017 | Charleston, South Carolina USA

Interview with Shanequa Gay  
on the occasion of New Painting at The Southern

Leigh Sabisch, Gallery associate, The Southern
December 15th, 2017 | Charleston, South Carolina USA

LEIGH SABISCH: Can you delve into the mythological elements in your work? What inspired the human/animal hybrid? Are there any specific reasons behind the selection of the animals in your pieces?

SHANEQUA GAY: For me mythology creates space to talk about morality and the difficulties of the human experience. By collapsing the hierarchies of the human and animal figure the hybrid becomes a tool of mediation, ambiguity, and opens the door to alternative perspectives. The animals definitely have symbolic meaning. However, that meaning doesn’t always mean the same thing in every artwork. A deer head could mean purity and innocence as well as problematic or waste.

New-Painting_full-exhibit_08-(2)
mythological+negroes

Some of the figures are fully realized and others are color blocked in; why is this and what guided the color choice?

These aesthetic choices speak to the litany of binaries / dichotomies for those living in the margins of reality/illusion, presence/absence, fear and strength. 

What excites you the most about how your work is evolving?

Oh wow, I would say the large leap I have taken in my work since last year. I definitely attribute my time in the MFA program at GSU to shifting my work into a new and ever evolving realm. I love the path I’m on right now, the color and developing new language for my work is exciting.

Why did you leave portions of the wood panel exposed in all of your pieces in “New Painting?” Do you prefer painting on wooden panels rather than canvas?

I looooooove wood. I love the way the wood grain gives the sense of sky or ground or environment in my work. This “openness” of the wood grain is really the secret sauce success of my work.

From New Painting, on view at The Southern in Charleston, South Carolina from September 29-November 12, 2017
@thesouthern.gallery

Shanequa Gay, based in Altanta, Georgia, has exhibited at the Chattanooga African American Museum, the Hammonds House Museum, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Emory University, Wofford College and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center among others. She was recently the Artist in Residence at Baldwin's Room in Johannesburg, South Africa and the receipient of the WonderRoot Community Supported Arts Program  in 2015. 
@shanequagay 

IMAGE LIST
Shanequa Gay, Tales of the Imaginary, Oil, flashe, and acrylic on wood panel, 36 × 50 in, 2017
"New Painting" at The Southern, Installation view
Shanequa Gay, Mythological Negroes: Village of Ghettoland, Oil, flashe, and acrylic on wood panel, 49 × 45 in, 2017


All images courtesy The Southern. 

RESOURCE
A posting of any length based primarily on submissions but also compiled through research by The Rib. Resource shares press releases, exhibition details, photo essays, interviews, podcasts, and other original content generated by galleries or alternative sources. Resource establishes a critical dialogue or discourse for artists and institutions by simply sharing information in a network connecting networks.

© THE RIB 2017
© THE RIB 2017
© THE RIB 2017