Nakeya Brown: Between Sheets and Seamless
This is a past event. Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 12:00pm 5:00pm
Blue Sky Gallery / Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts 122 N.W. Eighth Ave., Portland, OR 97209
“Each photograph I compose is a reflection of my female identity positioned within hair politics, hair rituals, and black culture. The scope of my work reconsiders racialized beauty standards and defines the bountiful actualities of African American women. Pulling from past memories and observations, I use photography as a tool to navigate the influence of race and gender in shaping perception and representation.” - Nakeya Brown
This July, Nakeya Brown will exhibit selections from six of her photo-based series at Blue Sky Gallery. In If Nostalgia Were Colored Brown, she creates reverent tableaux of vintage album covers and objects used for beautification to pay homage to a history of black feminine spaces of self care. Brown explores her own family’s hair rituals through conceptual portraiture and still life in Hair Stories Untold and Gestures of My Bio-Myth. She questions the consumption of racialized standards of beauty in her performative photo series The Refutation of “Good” Hair and in her staged compositions of haircare products, Facade Objects. In Mass Consumption Comes Home, Brown photographs mass-produced personal objects of the past in front of vintage floral wallpaper, drawing attention to the relationship between products of assembly-line labor and their final homes within the domestic sphere, historically a site of women's paid and unpaid labor, in addition to self-care.
Nakeya Brown was born in Santa Maria, California in 1988. She received her BA in Visual Arts and Journalism & Media Studies from Rutgers University and her Master of Fine Arts from The George Washington University. Her photography has been exhibited at the McKenna Museum of African American Art, Woman Made Gallery, Hamiltonian Gallery and The Urban Institute for Contemporary Art. Brown’s work has been featured in New York Mag, Dazed & Confused, The Fader, TIME and Vice. Her work has been included in photography books Babe and Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze. Brown was awarded the 2017 Snider Prize by the Museum of Contemporary Photography. She currently lives and works in Washington, D.C.
Between Sheets and Seamless is part of the Embodied: Asserting Self exhibition series, generously supported by Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer.
One-time events: Blue Sky Gallery will host a First Thursday Opening Reception on Thursday, July 6, 2017 between 6-9 p.m. They will also host an artist talk between Nakeya Brown and Ashley Stull Meyers, on Friday, July 7 at 5 p.m.
Ashley Stull Meyers is a writer, editor and curatorial collaborator. She has curated exhibitions and programming for the Wattis Institute, Eli Ridgway Gallery, The Luggage Store, the Oakland Museum of California and Newspace Center for Photography. She is a recurring contributor to DailyServing, The Exhibitionist and Arts.Black, and has written for Bomb Magazine, Rhizome and SFAQ/NYAQ. She has been in academic residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art and the Banff Centre. Most recently, Stull Meyers has been an adjunct professor at Wichita State University, and currently serves the Artist in Residency program at c3:initiative. She is based in Portland, Oregon.