Professor Devan Shimoyama, who won the Pulse prize at last year’s fair, will have a solo booth with Samuel Freeman Gallery. Pulse runs December 7-10 in Miami Beach.
This suite of new multimedia works strikes deeper into the language of mythology and stereotype. Utilizing sequins, glitter, jewels and vibrant colors, Professor Shimoyama entices the viewer into mythical landscapes and nighttime jungles. As in all of his paintings, the eyes of his subjects are obscured by rhinestones, costume jewelry or painted collage elements. Covering the eyes depersonalizes the face, allowing the viewer to project themselves into the painted bodies, inhabiting each as a costume. Donning such rich plumage allows the viewer to experience firsthand the shamanistic magic within the alluring worlds he has created.
“In these paintings,” Professor Shimoyama says, “I use the language of classical mythology, folklore and contemporary stereotype to illuminate a small fraction of what it means to be a Young Black Gay Man in search of his own identity. In these works, the Black Male Figure becomes an archetypal shamanistic character navigating from painting to painting, sharing with the viewer tiny moments of magic.”