artexpo NY | booth S703 | April 7th – 10th 2022 

Black Gotham Experience (BGX) is a creative intervention that elevates the impact of the African Diaspora. We establish space to revisit untold and suppressed stories through a practice that invites people to walk, talk, and reimagine the past to expand public consciousness. We know that history is not an unbiased collection of records but a cycle of events that we participate in collectively. We are creatives building intentional experiences at the intersection of aesthetics and scholarship to learn, heal, and remember together.

BGX is excited to be a partner in artexpo NY and showcase four incredible artists of the African Diaspora. Please welcome us in celebrating these amazing voices. We also want to welcome Karabo Mooki’s debut exhibiting in the United States.

Chloe Lee | Joshua Paige | Kadiatou Coulibaly | Karabo Mooki

 

Chloe Lee (New York) 

TranscendAnce is a series that magnifies psychological states of mind for humans who have survived the black hole of 2020 and how those states are altered based on your spiritual and physical interactions with others. It examines how the memory is triggered when moving through communal spaces, what that feels like to our subconscious and how the feeling is archived into a body of work.

Lee is a multidisciplinary African-American artist living and working in New York City. Interweaving her vibrant childhood in Brooklyn, NY with later schooling in Westchester, Lee’s point-of-view fuses the intricacies of culture identity with social dynamics. With artwork inspired by Jean Michel-Basquiat, Alma Thomas, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Franz Kline, Lee’s abstract expressionist form reflects the study of world history, culture erasure, the human mind and the many tides of the spiritual voyage.

Sacred Contracts 

Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and graphite on canvas | 40” x 30”

$4,100

 

Becoming One 

Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and graphite on canvas | 36” x 36” 

$3,850

 

 

Joshua Paige (New York) 

Joshua Paige’s artistic practice is heavily influenced by being a Brooklyn native and growing up on the streets of New York City. The textured surfaces, paint spills, graffiti, and ripped wheat-pasted advertising are elements that influence his works. Collage is an especially important aspect of the artist’s oeuvre, as it helps to recreate the city’s textures and enables him to use these textures as the foundation of his pieces. The artist’s day job, of working in window display production also influences his work.

Paige’s pieces have explored a variety of different themes and subject matters throughout his career. Black identity, race relations, and sense-of-self are topics that Paige is currently drawn to. He explores these themes through various mediums including painting, collage, sculpture, photography, installation and illustration. Recently, he has begun to incorporate elements of sculpture and photography with his paintings to create more dimensional pieces.

Soul Sistah 

Acrylic, glass beads, and glitter on MDF board | 36” x 22.5” x .5” 

$7,000 

 

Down to Mars

Acrylic, watercolor, and dye on canvas | 28.5” x 28.5” x 72.39 cm 

$4,500

 

 

Kadiatou Coulibaly (New York) 

Kadiatou Coulibaly is a Brooklyn-based contemporary artist and cosplayer born in Mali and raised in Gabon. Her mother taught her how to paint when she was 8 years old. Coulibaly founded Nerdy Bae LLC, an African nerd lifestyle brand in 2019. For Coulibaly, cosplaying and painting are both art forms activating her creativity. Cosplaying helps her celebrate powerful characters that animate her imagination, while her paintings reflect her Bambara background, upbringing in Gabon, experience as an African immigrant living in the U.S.

My art practice is centered around a concept I call Denbaw Gaari which means “mothers thread” in Bambara, my native language. Denbaw Gaari explores maternal connections and relationships. My paintings are a reflection of my Bambara background, my upbringing in Gabon and my experience as an African immigrant living in the U.S. Living in Brooklyn as a Black Malian woman has expanded my genetic memory. It is through my art practice that I discovered that my late paternal grandmother handmade bogolan when she was young. My paintings often represent women in transition, healing and nurturing spaces. While these spaces may not necessarily be physical, there is a common thread reflecting femininity, resiliency, migration and movement.

Sanu

Acrylic, Bogolan collage and cowrie shells on canvas | 20” x 24” 

$2,222 

 

 

Karabo Mooki (Soweto) 

My approach to photography has a broad focus from capturing snippets of seemingly mundane moments to exploring the power to provoke a reaction towards an audience that has become oversaturated with visual imagery. Thoughtful images hold multilayered qualities that leave the audience with more ambiguous questions than steadfast answers.

In 2016, I devoted months to documenting the rise of counter-culture in Soweto, South Africa through the lives of the punk band members T.C.Y.I.F, who were responsible for spearheading the movement.  Our shared mornings would begin at a small residential house infamously known as “The Dogg Pound” in Dube, Soweto.  The hours that passed would take us on meaningless adventures from the garage in which jam sessions were held into the nooks and crannies of the Southern Hemispheres’ largest township.  T.C.I.Y.F’s relationship with the pulse of the township is tightly tethered to their belief in celebrating Black counter-culture. T.C.I.Y.F continues to demonstrate their dedication to cultivating a scene that is typically taboo in retrospect to township culture, breaking the mold for what is expected from Black youth that are born and raised in townships.

The Kids Are Alright 

Photograph | 100% cotton rag | 33” x 23” | 1 of 10 available 

$1,550

 

An Ode To The Gods

Photograph | 100% cotton rag | 33” x 23” | 1 of 10 available 

$1,500

 

FOR INQUIRIES: blackgotham@kamaustudios.com 

Find out more about Black Gotham Experience.

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