Artist Harmonia Rosales Reinterprets Genesis through a Stunning Subversion of the Sistine Chapel
November 21, 2022

At the heart of Garden of Eve, Harmonia Rosales’ comprehensive exhibition at UTA Artist Space in Beverly Hills, is the power of narrative. The show spans years of Rosales’ career, featuring dozens of portraits in oil and perhaps the grandest work she’s produced thus far: encircled with lights, an upturned ship towers over the gallery, allowing viewers to pass underneath and peer upwards at the frescoed expanse.
Referencing the vessels utilized in the transatlantic slave trade, the lofty structure re-envisions the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and uses Michaelangelo’s Renaissance works as a blueprint to recast Genesis through the lens of female empowerment and Orishas, deities in religions of the African diaspora. More

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The City Different: A Deep-Rooted Art Scene Is the Key to Santa Fe’s Magic
October 1, 2022

As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the United States, Santa Fe has long enchanted visitors with its rich history and unquestionable beauty. Situated at the base of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe’s tranquil yet rugged environs engender both inspiration and isolation, providing ideal conditions for a multicolored artistic paradise […] Continue reading

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Photographer Zanele Muholi Finds Empowerment Through Bold Black-and-White Portraiture
September 12, 2022

The striking portraits of South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi (previously) are easily recognizable. Shot in stark black-and-white, the images utilize heavy contrast and center on single subjects dressed in elaborate garments. These wearables are sculptural in construction and made from commonplace objects: clothespins are strung together as a necklace, dried grasses splay outward like the brim of a hat, and rolls of toilet paper cascade over a figure’s shoulders. More Continue reading

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In Bold Self-Portraits, Atong Atem Vividly Frames Relationships Between Identity and Culture
September 9, 2022

Since its inception, photography has dominated the way we visually remember and describe the world around us and where we are within it. It has tapped into desire, joy, grief, and superstition, such as in the Victorian era, when some believed it could be a channel between people and spirits in the afterlife. In portraiture, photography immortalizes its subjects and has transformed artists’ ability to express themselves and tell stories. For Ethiopia-born, South Sudanese photographer Atong Atem, who is based in Melbourne, the medium enables a salient exploration of the African diaspora and migrant narratives by focusing on the relationship between figures and the interior spaces they inhabit. More Continue reading

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September 2022 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists
September 2, 2022

Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at hello@colossal.art. You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.
 
Open Calls
Joyce Awards (Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul)
Artists of color working in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul can apply for the Joyce Awards, which commissions new work from five artists. More Continue reading

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In Introspective Paintings, Artist Ocom Adonias Explores Narratives of Blackness
August 19, 2022

Fusing history with the political and social contexts of today, Ocom Adonias’s work interprets the experience of moving through the world in a Black body. His vibrant, realistic paintings portray people in ordinary moments of ritual, solitude, and bonding, honing in on individual narratives to convey a broader message. “I’m particularly interested in the global conversation of what being an African and what being Black means, history, and the representation of the Black figure in the contemporary sense,” he shares. More Continue reading

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In ‘Colonial Ruptures,’ Artist Sharif Bey Defies the Constraints of Time through Fragmented Figures
August 3, 2022

Artist Sharif Bey centers his practice around recontextualizing, a process he undertakes by fracturing long-held perspectives through fragments. His figurative sculptures unify disparate materials and broad cultural references across generations and eras—his works are notably undated—drawing on both the aesthetics of West-Central Africa, particularly the spiritual protectors known as nkisi, and the industrial histories of his family and current city of Syracuse.
Largely crafted around bits of his own ceramic vessels, Bey’s works are on view at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum in a solo exhibition titled Colonial Ruptures, which questions the inherent value and power of objects, particularly as they’re stripped from their original cultures through colonial violence and structural racism. More Continue reading

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“Welcome to the Neighborhood” by Artist Andrew Soria
July 14, 2022

Andrew Soria “Welcome to the Neighborhood” is a series of artworks depicting LA’s neighborhoods through unique photo-collaged cityscapes. These pop-surreal cityscapes pay homage to the community by highlighting recognizable and iconic architectural elements as well as documenting and preserving its history. It serves as a celebration of the city’s identity through the colorful depiction of … Continued Continue reading

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Plants, Motifs, and Cultural Symbols Are Superimposed onto Digital Portraits by Sam Rodriguez
June 30, 2022

San Jose-based artist Sam Rodriguez might liken an abstract leaf sprouting from a young woman’s garment or a Pac-Man-esque rendering floating near a subject’s face to scenic elements. His portraits, which he’s been referring to as “cultural landscapes” for the past few years, are topographies of identity that involve replacing trees, rivers, and horizons with social markers. “It’s interesting to see the endless variants that each individual carries when we unpack who they are,” he shares with Colossal. More Continue reading

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Otherworldly Vistas and Noble Portraits Celebrate Life’s Mysteries in Sherman Beck’s Vibrant Paintings
June 6, 2022

One of the original ten members of the groundbreaking Chicago-based artist collective AFRICOBRA founded in 1968, Sherman Beck paints vibrant portrayals of Black family, ancestry, and community that celebrate the wonder and mysticism of everyday life. In a retrospective at Kavi Gupta, paintings made during the past five decades explore themes of cultural identity, multidimensional time and space, and the origins of life.
In Ancestors, a series of untitled works from the 1990s, Beck juxtaposes traditional African masks, labeled as if in a museum display, alongside contemporary Black faces. More Continue reading

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