Devan Shimoyama. All The Rage
Luminous color, bright outlines, sequins, rhinestones, fabric, feathers—and time and time again the artist himself, in mythological, fantastic, or historical roles: The material collages by the American painter Devan Shimoyama (1989 in Philadelphia, USA) are midsummer night’s dreams of alternative masculinity. In his works, Shimoyama dissects masculine stereotypes and reassembles them as brilliantly as haute couture to counter-narratives of vulnerability and resistance. As Shimoyama says, he uses materials that a drag queen would use to create her glamorous outfits and fantasy characters.
As a homosexual Afro-American, Shimoyama has an intense relationship with issues of the Black community, as well as the queer subculture in the United States. With his art, he contrasts the dark sides of the reality of this life, such as everyday racism and police violence, homophobia and misogyny, with powerful icons, which represent hope, strength and beauty. He himself often forms the center of his colorful settings. Kunstpalais exhibits Shimoyama’s first solo show in Europe.
Image: Devan Shimoyama, Smoke and Sage, 2019, oil, colored pencils, Flash-e-Vapor, rhinestones, acrylic, collage, and glitter on canvas, 182.9 × 213.4 × 5.1 cm, Courtesy the artist and Kavi Gupa, Photo: John Lusis