Today, Chicago’s Monique Meloche gallery presents Black White and Red All Over, an exhibition of works by Los Angeles-based artist Genevieve Gaignard. Black White and Red All Over, which will turn through May 24th, will feature a number of new mixed media works by Gaignard including a site-specific installation.
The works for Black White and Red All Over have stemmed from her well-known photographic and installation-based series to respond to a range of concerns. Through an ‘uncanny sense of humour,’ Gaignard tackles complex notions of race, class, and femininity touching on the weight of such concepts but also their fluidity in pop culture today. Through staged photos and installations of found objects and various materials, her works speak to more than their combined parts.
This new body of works combines the artworks she has so intimately created with the evolution of her understanding and experience with the topics she works through. ‘Images culled from vintage issues of Ebony, Jet, and Life magazines (which her mother regularly collected when the artist was growing up) mix and mingle with found fabrics, vintage wallpaper, and the odd knick-knack,’ reads the exhibition press release. ‘With a free hand and mind, the artist plays with these disparate elements until a narrative appears. This process facilitates unexpected, profound juxtapositions, and provides a liberated platform for her continued formal investigations. The resultant scenes – in turns whimsical, ironic, beautiful, nostalgic, and critical – serve to bolster and amplify the artist’s resounding political voice.’
Gaignard, born in 1981, is the daughter of a black man and white woman. Being a biracial woman growing up in the US, she has dealt with a sense of invisibility, a chasm of cultural differences between black and white, throughout her life. In her artist statement, Gaignard expresses that dealing with questions of being black enough or white enough to ‘pass’ propelled her explore such issues. Furthermore, she was inspired by the works of pianist and singer Billy Stewart, the aesthetics of John Waters, and drag culture. Gaignard has often used her own body as the centre of her works ‘challenging viewers to navigate the powers and anxieties of intersectional identity.’
She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2007 with a BFA in photography before receiving her MFA in photography from Yale University in 2014. Her work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions at institutions including Harlem’s Studio Museum, LA’s California African American Museum, Paris’ Praz-Delavallade, as well as the Houston Center for Photography.