Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby
Published in conjunction with the exhibition Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby at The Andy Warhol Museum, this catalogue documents the first solo museum exhibition of Devan Shimoyama’s figurative paintings and sculptures.
Spanning Shimoyama's burgeoning career, the catalogue features painting, photography, and sculpture, and a series of new works that were on view at the exhibition for the first time. Shimoyama's work challenges cliché with daring and personal representations of the complexities of race and sexuality.
In the exhibition, Shimoyama creates two distinct worlds—one an enchanted paradise, the other a queer imagining of the African American barbershop. Celebrated for fraternity and community, Shimoyama presents the barbershop as a space where young men and boys can feel shamed and vulnerable. In sculpture, he creates objects of mourning for Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, both examples of the aggressive targeting of African American youth as fearful or threatening. While canvases feel joyful and celebratory, they also present commentary on pain and sorrow. Teardrops lurk in the background of his landscapes or stream down the faces of his figures as a reminder of the racial injustices at work in contemporary society. Shimoyama presents a world where race, sexuality, and identity can operate from a point of freedom generated by inner strength.
Texts by exhibition curator Jessica Beck, Alex Fialho, and Rickey Laurentiis. Interview with the artist by Emily Colucci.