New YorkThe GAG, curated by Devan Shimoyama x DeBuck Gallery
JONATHAN LYNDON CHASE
De Buck Gallery presents The GAG, a group show curated by Devan Shimoyama and featuring work by Alex Anderson, Devan Shimoyama, Didier William, and Jonathan Lyndon Chase.
The title of the show, The GAG, draws from black, queer culture and is directly related to the themes of the exhibition as well as the complex identities of the artists themselves. Often used in mainstream vernacular to refer to a joke or pun, a ‘gag’ or ‘gagging’ is also a term used in queer black culture (see: Gagging, why are you gagging so?). Popularized in the mid 90’s by gay, black men, the term is used when something is so fierce that one can barely contain oneself. Like many aspects of black queer and femme culture such as tongue popping, twerking, quippy language, and music, among countless other, the term gagging has now been disseminated and diluted by mass consumption and has been pulled away from its original meaning and its intended use as a way for the black queer community to communicate within itself. This exhibition seeks to reinvigorate the phrase by showcasing, eye-catching, celebratory, and challenging work by four queer black artists that may baffle, confuse, shock, stun, overwhelm and excite the viewer.
The artists in this exhibition use a variety of mediums to create paintings, collages, and sculptures that defy categorization while exploring the complex relationship between the black male body, queer identity, and sexuality. The result is a visceral exhibition that celebrates black, queer culture and the fierce tenderness with which these artists approach themes of politics, gender, sexuality, race, physicality, and identity.
The show is curated by Devan Shimoyama, whose work explores the mystery and magic of the black, queer, male body while understanding his personal origins and the politics of queer culture. Along with Shimoyama, this exhibition features work by Alex Anderson, whose delicate ceramic works explore pop culture and complex, multifaceted identities such as his own; Didier William whose paintings delve into blackness and other identities subjected to an othering gaze and various other oppressive, socioeconomic factors; and Jonathan Lyndon Chase, whose contorted figures examine the ways in which gender identity is affected by our immediate environment and social norms.Courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery, New York