"Artists from the African diaspora unite to bring their diverse themes to Dubai gallery"
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.”
- THE NATIONAL
"artnet Asks: Curator Dexter Wimberly on Creating Community in a Globalized World"
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.
"In a constant state of flux"
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.
- GULF NEWS
"Overlaying nautical knots and maritime objects in a shrine-like arrangement over a ghostly overturned boat, this piece is a memorial to the current refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. Suggestive of both an aftermath of a wreck and a shelter, the piece is a poignant appeal for empathy."
- Jessica Wilcox, Socrates Sculpture Park
Kingdom of Swaziland
"Valerie Piraino is an artist from NYC who, in her studio practice, makes work that reflects how landscape, economy and history shape the African Diaspora. Piraino was invited to participate in an artist exchange in Swaziland in March of 2015, in preparation for a site specific commission for Art in Embassies. During her exchange, she was able to visit a variety of places where she could investigate some of these practices in more depth, and that included visits to a sugar plantation, a tour of a timber factory, a textile factory, a game park and basket weaving studio."
- Art in Embassies, U.S. Department of State
The mission of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts is to encourage, sponsor, and promote innovative work in the arts created and presented by individuals, groups, and organizations. FCA depends on artists to fulfill its mission; to date, over 1,000 artists have contributed paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs to help fund grant programs that directly support individual artists working in dance, music/sound, performance art/theater, poetry, and the visual arts. Thus, FCA remains the only institution of its kind: created and sustained by artists to benefit other artists.
THE WASSAIC PROJECT, Print Editions Program, Wassaic, NY, 2018
THE NEW SCHOOL, Parson School of Design, Part Time Faculty, 2018
LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY FOUNDATION AWARD NOMINEE, 2017
"Offshore is nontraditional in that it does not offer studio space during the artists' time in residence. Instead, the week at sea is intended to challenge perceptions about where ideas come from and inspire artists to develop concepts for a new body of work."
- Offshore Residency
"Adam McEwen Selects: Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the
Foundation for Contemporary Arts," Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
Copyright © Valerie Piraino. All rights reserved.