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Made to Order Virtual Exhibition

Created by Phoenix Brown
Commissioned by Ryan and Marissa Downs

Phoenix Brown

Remixing portraiture and preconceived notions of the Black female body is at the core of my practice. By painting representations of nature and the female form with contemporary material and aesthetic choices, I subvert the one-way window of fantasy that western painting has long offered.

There exists a feedback loop between my analog painting and digital editing that is visible in the final image. My interdisciplinary paintings are layered with impossible brush strokes from their time in photo editing software and maintain a textured surface that speaks to the western art canon. In colonialism, nature and Black women have existed as reserves to exploit; in my work, they commingle and force us to confront our viewing access to them. The work aims to grapple with the audience’s viewing psychology in the act of projecting their views onto how Black womanhood should exist in reality and in the flat image.

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