Black, White and Red All Over: Genevieve Gaignard

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-02 00:39Z by Steven

Black, White and Red All Over: Genevieve Gaignard

Musée: Vanguard of Photography Culture
2019-04-24

Ashley Yu

Genevieve Gaignard This American Beauty , 2019. Vintage magazine cutouts, clear acrylic, on panel, 48 x 36 x 2.5 in. (121.9 x 91.4 x 6.3 cm). Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.
Genevieve Gaignard
This American Beauty, 2019. Vintage magazine cutouts, clear acrylic, on panel, 48 x 36 x 2.5 in. (121.9 x 91.4 x 6.3 cm). Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Genevieve Gaignard’s first solo show “Black White and Red All Over” is currently exhibited at the Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago from April 5th-May 24th. The exhibition showcases Gaignard’s new body of mixed media artwork and a new site-specific installation. In this exhibition, the artist speaks on the intersecting representational issues of race, femininity and class in modern American society.

Ashley Yu: Why do you use photo collages of magazine cutouts as your medium of choice?

Genevieve Gaignard: I wouldn’t say this is my medium of choice per se. It’s more that I’m an artist that works in various mediums (photography, installation, sculpture and collage) in order to address the topics of gender, class and racial injustice in America. For me, it’s very instinctual to work with magazine images. I grew up collaging my bedroom walls as a teenager. I feel like, in a way, I’m taking from that memory and applying it to my practice…

Ashley: You often refer to the “invisibility” of growing up mixed-race in America. Would you explain that to us?

Genevieve: Sure. My particular experience growing up in a predominately white town and looking white to most people felt like I wasn’t really seen at all…

Read the entire interview here.

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Q&A | Genevieve Gaignard

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2019-05-15 21:10Z by Steven

Q&A | Genevieve Gaignard

Flaunt
2019-05-02

Morgan Vickery, Contributing Editor

Black Swan
Black Swan

Early this April, Chicago welcomed artist Genevieve Gaignard for a solo exhibition with Monique Meloche gallery. The exhibition entitled “Black White and Red All Over” features Gaignard’s newest body of mixed media works on panel as well as a domestic installation.

The Los Angeles-based artist received an MFA in Photography from Yale University. However, Gaignard’s work spans across several mediums including mixed-media, sculpture, and installations. Her work has been showcased across the nation and has found permanent homes at such places as the Studio Museum in Harlem, the California African American Museum, the FLAG Art Foundation, New York, and the San Jose Museum of Art. Gaignard’s work examines issues of race, class, femininity and their various intersections. As the daughter of an interracial couple, identity has informed a large part of Gaignard’s work, in which she invites the viewer to examine their own assumptions on identity…

…Many of the collage works touch on the topics of beauty and femininity. Each of them were composed with vintage wallpaper and vintage magazine cutouts in many variations. The pieces A Shout Out To My Fan Girls and In Full Bloom depict the many-faces of black beauty, especially as it relates to hair. Gaignard connected these works to her own identity as a biracial woman saying, “These are all pictures from wig advertisements. So, talking about how as black women we are told tame our hair and fit into the norm which is presented to us as white. That’s what you’re supposed to strive for, even for me. My hair is straightened right now, so I totally pass in a different way. I think about this constantly.”…

Read the entire interview here.

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Republican, Fear, Love, Blood: The Many Meanings of Red

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, United States on 2019-05-15 20:07Z by Steven

Republican, Fear, Love, Blood: The Many Meanings of Red

Elephant
2019-04-29


In Full Bloom, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Genevieve Gaignard is invested in examining the cultural divide between being black and white in the US, navigating a place for all the incremental shades that exist in between. Her latest work brings identities, experiences, appearances and materials together in symbolic shades of black, white and red. Words by Charlotte Jansen

When I first saw Genevieve Gaignard‘s work, staged photographs she shot of herself in 2017, fresh out of Yale, I immediately identified. As biracial woman like Gaignard, my experiences growing up, too white within my family, too brown in my majority white school, I could relate to the pain of being projected onto, and never quite fitting in. Yet my experiences are quite different to hers, growing up in the south of the US, half black, half white, with red hair; listening to Billy Stewart and watching John Waters films. Music and drag have been major influences on her work, as well as her sense of family and femininity. America has always been louder, brasher and more confident than the UK when it comes to exploring race, for the good and the bad…

Can you tell me what your own relationship with magazines like Jet and Ebony has been?

I remember we had Jet and Ebony delivered to our house when I was growing up. My mother also held onto a lot of those magazines and had her own archive from years prior. Although I work with other magazines as well, such as Life, Women’s Day and McCall’s, it should be acknowledged that in those magazines, especially from the sixties and earlier, black people were not represented at all! It’s quite shocking to flip through an entire magazine from the forties or fifties and not see a single person of colour. It’s disturbing how white America refused to acknowledge an entire race of people. If black folks were present in all the magazines marketed to “Americans”, then I wouldn’t have had to make a point that I also source cut-outs from Jet and Ebony. My works aim to reflect a more inclusive view because that’s more like real life…

Read the entire interview here.

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Artists on Artists: Genevieve Gaignard on Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin

Posted in Arts, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2019-02-25 01:01Z by Steven

Artists on Artists: Genevieve Gaignard on Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin

MOCA
Museum of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles, California
2019-01-24

Genevieve Gaignard’s work mixes elements of self-portraiture, collage, and sculpture to present nuanced issues surrounding race, beauty, and cultural identity. Gaignard’s staged photographs create a platform for what she calls “persona-play-performances” within these spaces. The performances enacted within her photographic works are a combination of autobiography and allegory. Responding to the photographs on view in Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin, Gaignard will expand on how these three legendary practitioners have influenced her own photographic work.

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The photographs remind us, repeatedly, that the racial delineations imposed by society are often arbitrary and flimsy, always fraught.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-10 02:48Z by Steven

The express ornaments of black culture that appear in some of [Genevieve] Gaignard’s images—braids and Afros, head wraps and African prints—like all surfaces, can be borrowed. The photographs remind us, repeatedly, that the racial delineations imposed by society are often arbitrary and flimsy, always fraught.

Katie Ryder, “An Artist’s Costumed Alter Egos Cross Racial Lines,” The New Yorker, July 17, 2018. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/an-artists-costumed-alter-egos-cross-racial-lines.

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An Artist’s Costumed Alter Egos Cross Racial Lines

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-08-10 02:41Z by Steven

An Artist’s Costumed Alter Egos Cross Racial Lines

The New Yorker
2018-07-17

Katie Ryder


“Synchronized,” 2018.Photographs by Genevieve Gaignard / Courtesy Shulamit Nazarian

Counterfeit Currency,” a show of self-portrait photography, installation, and collage by Genevieve Gaignard, at the FLAG Art Foundation, in Chelsea, opens with a large photo of the artist on a Florida beach at dusk. As in each of her pictures, Gaignard portrays a character of her own invention, here with long, blond hair and jet-black roots, outfitted in regional strip-mall kitsch. She is stretching a towel behind her, printed to resemble a huge hundred-dollar bill; concealing her torso is a trompe-l’oeil T-shirt showing a cartoon, bikini-clad body, whose peach-beige skin tone closely resembles that of her own.

Gaignard, a woman of mixed race (her father is black, her mother white), makes photographs that play with the outward signifiers and stereotypes of race, class, and femininity, combining and remixing them into sometimes exaggerated but steadily ambiguous costumes. From character to character, she undergoes significant but not quite Shermanian transformations, with no facial prosthetics and minimal makeup, and with each portrait hinging in part on Gaignard’s ability to cross legible boundaries…

Read the entire article here.

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“I’m trying to show that blackness comes in many different shades.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-08-04 01:31Z by Steven

“I’m trying to show that blackness comes in many different shades,” [Genevieve] Gaignard explained to artnet News during a tour of her current exhibition, “Genevieve Gaignard: Counterfeit Currency,” her first in New York, at the FLAG Art Foundation.

Sarah Cascone, “‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness,” artnet News, August 3, 2018. https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/genevieve-gaignard-counterfeit-currency-1327343.

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‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-08-04 01:17Z by Steven

‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness

artnet News
2018-08-03

Sarah Cascone, Associate Editor

Genevieve Gaignard, You’ve Wronged, Now Make it Right (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles/the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; ©Genevieve Gaignard.
Genevieve Gaignard, You’ve Wronged, Now Make it Right (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles/the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; ©Genevieve Gaignard.

In her first New York show, the artist creates unexpected characters that defy stereotypes.

Genevieve Gaignard’s work is deceptive—and that’s no accident. Her pleasingly arranged collages, heavily knick-knacked installations of cozy-looking domestic interiors, and well-lit, cheerfully colorful portrait photography draw the viewer in, belying her willingness to confront the sensitive issues of race, stereotypes, beauty standards, consumption, and identity.

Each photograph features Gaignard herself, transformed by wigs and costumes into a variety of characters. The artist is a fair-skinned mixed-race woman of color who can take on vastly disparate identities, casting herself one moment as a prim blonde housewife and the next as a young woman with hoop earrings and a shirt that reads “Hoodrat Thangs.”

“I’m trying to show that blackness comes in many different shades,” Gaignard explained to artnet News during a tour of her current exhibition, “Genevieve Gaignard: Counterfeit Currency,” her first in New York, at the FLAG Art Foundation

Read the entire article here.

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It’s complicated to reconcile with an appearance that conflicts with your identity, but art has been Gaignard’s outlet through which to come to terms with, explore and push the limitations of identity and its perception.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-06-08 03:14Z by Steven

Born in Massachusetts to a black father and a white mother, [Genevieve] Gaignard is white passing, despite identifying as black, and her visually ambiguous identity is something that’s troubled her since childhood. “When I say I’m passing, I mean we navigate through the world how others see us, and I’m usually seen as white,” Gaignard explains. It’s complicated to reconcile with an appearance that conflicts with your identity, but art has been Gaignard’s outlet through which to come to terms with, explore and push the limitations of identity and its perception. “Over time I’ve been able to process and tap into all the things I thought as a young girl growing up in this body, and this mind,” she says. “It’s about owning the skin I’m in, and thinking about how I can speak about blackness through seemingly white characters.”

Harriet Shepherd, “The Bi-Racial Artist Using White-Passing Characters to Talk About Blackness,” Sleek, June 7, 2018. http://www.sleek-mag.com/2018/06/07/genevieve-gaignard/.

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The Bi-Racial Artist Using White-Passing Characters to Talk About Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-06-08 02:42Z by Steven

The Bi-Racial Artist Using White-Passing Characters to Talk About Blackness

Sleek
2018-06-07

Harriet Shepherd, Junior Editor


Drive-By, Side-Eye, 2016 © Genevieve Gaignard, courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles

Genevieve Gaignard uses American stereotypes and comfortable settings to confront uncomfortable issues surrounding race and identity.

American artist Genevieve Gaignard is a homebody. Not in the sense that she’s confined to the couch every Friday night, but rather that she’s infatuated with domestic spaces. “I’ve always had this fascination with what people surround themselves with in their homes,” she tells SLEEK. It’s a theme that’s been a constant in her work since she threw in the towel at cookery school and headed down a fine art path. From the panoramic interiors she lensed for her Yale application, to the carefully curated domestic installations that made up her solo show, Smell the Roses, at the Californian African American Museum earlier this year, to the household-centric creations currently on display at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London — home is where Gaignard’s heart is.

Though she’s what you’d call a multidisciplinary artist, it’s Gaignard’s photography that’s earned her such widespread attention. Known for turning the lens on herself, Gaignard’s Cindy Sherman-esque self-portraits occupy a complex realm where class, race and gender intersect, seeing the artist assume caricatured roles that toy with her own bi-racial identity and the way that blackness and whiteness is perceived. And the home, more often than not, provides the comfortable backdrop for Gaignard’s more uncomfortable subject matter…

Read the entire article here.

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