Black by Popular Demand: The Arts by Matthew Ponder

Yanique Norman

Yanique Norman (Jamaican, b. 1981) is a multidisciplinary artist whose multimedia drawings deal with a confluence of disparate and contemporaneous subject matters. Work is infatuated with class, overwhelmingly feminine, totally obsessed with archives, has a penchant to erotize pain, insists in being prolifically black while still genuflecting its surrealist impulses and lastly, work is deeply committed in remaining incessantly blue despite itself.

Norman migrated to the United States at the age of 12 and was raised in New York City. In 2005 she relocated to Atlanta and studied at Georgia State University (BFA, 2014) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA, 2018). Her work can be found in numerous public collections throughout Southern region including The High Museum of Art, Hammonds House Museum and Clark Atlanta University Art Museum.

Norman lives and works in Atlanta and is represented by Sandler Hudson Gallery.

Tiffany Charesse

Tiffany Charesse was born in Atlanta, GA, where she studied and graduated at The Art Institute with a BFA in Graphic Design. Since then, she has maintained a career working in the art & design industry. 

“It’s the intimacy of portraiture that I enjoy the most. There is no hiding or pretending when someone is studying your every wrinkle and strand of hair, and there are no flaws in raw beauty. From the very moment a first stroke is laid, my subject on paper turns into a real person in my mind - with whom I’m building a relationship with. I’m talking to that person, shaping its features, creating a personality. Some of them I fuss and share tears with, while others capture my heart and make it hard for me to let go... I want people to look at my portraits and want to know the story behind each face - or at least the stories we shared together in the studio...”

“Faces tell the greatest stories... I want people to look at my portraits and want to know the story behind each face.”

Tiffany combines her love for classic portraiture with her background in graphic design to create unique portraits with geometric flair. Her technique is characterized by smooth blends and a soft richness that she achieves by combining PanPastel powders with pastel pencils. 

With a strong emphasis on visual balance, you can find influences of constructivism, cubism and minimalism in her compositions. She often explores themes of self-awareness, empathy and spirituality in her works

Martine Syms

Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles) uses video and performance to examine representations of blackness. Her artwork has been exhibited and screened extensively, including presentations at the Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum, ICA London, New Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among other institutions. She has lectured at Yale University, SXSW, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, and MoMA PS1, among other venues. Syms’ recently presented exhibitions include Projects 106: Martine Syms, Museum of Modern Art; Borrowed Lady, Simon Fraser University Galleries, Vancouver; Fact and Trouble, ICA London; COM PORT MENT, Karma International, Los Angeles; Vertical Elevated Oblique, Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York. From 2007-2011 she was the co-director of the Chicago artist run project space Golden Age, and she currently runs Dominica Publishing, an imprint dedicated to exploring blackness in visual culture. She is the author of Implications and Distinctions: Format, Content and Context in Contemporary Race Film (2011). Her first US solo museum exhibition Projects 106: Martine Syms, premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in May of 2017. She is a faculty member in the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts.

The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto