My studio practice is rooted in an exploration of my Caribbean-American background. The work explores the complexity of heritage and the psychology of peripheral identity referenced from personal memories, history, research, literature and cultural beauty norms. I consider myself a visual anthropologist, cataloguing and surveying these experiences. Whether I was aware of it or not, otherness has been at the center of my consciousness. My early ideals of beauty were shaped by and linked through paintings throughout art history and photographs in fashion magazines. Those images were heroic and beautiful, images that embodied a particular “Venus” that didn’t look like me. It is this cultural history of female exposé, mutation and myth that I create work to reflect an autobiographical history of invisible blackness, passing and ambiguity. I am interested in the way marginalized bodies and that of my own body have been imagined, invented and shaped through societal interpretations and the spaces they inhabit. The experience of “Double-Consciousness” and shape shifting are on-going themes and exploration in my studio practice.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Shoshanna Weinberger received her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2003 and BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995. Living and working in Newark, NJ since 2006, Weinberger’s studio practice is rooted in an exploration of her Caribbean-American lineage and draws strongly on the complexity of heritage, and assumed norms. She considers herself a visual anthropologist, cataloguing and surveying these experiences that ultimately question notions of beauty, identity and marginalization through drawings, collage and installations.
Awards: 2014 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant; 2019 Dawn Scott Memorial Award, from National Gallery of Jamaica; 2020 Newark Accelerator Grant from the Warhol Foundation; 2020 Sunroom Project Artist, Wave Hill, Bronx; 2021 City of Newark Creative Catalyst Fund Grant; granted a 2021 Mural Commission, Four Corners Public Art, Newark; recently awarded a 2022 Fellowship from NJ State Council of the Arts. Exhibited over two-decades in national/international group and solo exhibitions that include venues: Jamaica Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica; Spertus Museum, Chicago; Carol Jazzar Contemporary, Miami; Shirin Gallery, NYC; Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL; SMAC Gallery, Cape Town; Tiwani Contemporary, London; Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn; Long Gallery, Harlem, NYC; Nomad Gallery, Brussels; Royal West of England Academy Bristol, UK; Bronx Museum; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, NYC; Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans.
Her work is currently on view in two group exhibitions, Figurative Painting from the Collection, Sheldon Museum of Art; and Lux et Veritas, NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Weinberger’s work featured in WMG exhibitions: Slippery Slope (2013); Potbelly Pin-Ups, solo, (2014); Mutation of Otherness, Juror, (2014); Abandoned Margins (2016). Public collections: NJ State Museum; Trenton; Newark Museum of Art, NJ; Sagamore Collection, Miami, FL; Girls Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale; Margulies Collection, Miami; Davidson College, Davidson, NC; AC Kingston Collection, Jamaica; and Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE
© Shoshanna Weinberger