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A Fast Moving Sky is a group exhibition of four artists linked by their African heritage, which guest curator Wimberly has put together to explore the idea of cultural hybrids.
“The underpinning of this show is that people move around the globe, ideas travel and influences are shared regardless of background. As a result, it is very difficult to define anything down under one specific category,” he says. Another artist is Valerie Piraino, who was born in Rwanda, and whose notable works include sculptures of papayas.
The papaya is a Caribbean fruit that she ate regularly for breakfast growing up in sub-Saharan Africa. “The fruit is ubiquitous,” she says. “When I started thinking about how that came about, it became a conversation about colonialism and imperialism.”
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The concept of the exhibition is born out of my own interactions with people of African descent around the world who reflect a wide range of lifestyles and cultural traditions. The works presented in the exhibition were selected to create a fluid space where notions of a monolithic or singular Black or African art aesthetic can be challenged.
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Piraino was born in Kigali, Rwanda, grew up between sub-Saharan Africa and the US, and now lives in New York. She is presenting a series of free standing and wall mounted sculptures of tropical fruits, plants and seeds such as papayas and coconuts, and objects such as bundles of tarred currency notes, or pieces of gold. Her realistic works, sculpted with polystyrene and epoxy clay, set up a dialogue between nature and made-made environments. She has painted them black and gold to represent resources that have been a blessing as well as a curse for Africa and Africans. The colours also embody migrants from the region, commenting on colonisation, trade, and current migration.
Copyright © Valerie Piraino. All rights reserved.
LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY FOUNDATION AWARD NOMINEE, 2017