BLACK WOMEN ARTISTS
For this week’s edition of Sunday Culture, Dress to Kill Magazine stands in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Originally scheduled to be released in our upcoming Fall issue, we have decided to publish this piece earlier in order to show support for black artists and creators worldwide. In a previous correspondence, the incredible Gardy St.Fleur told Dress to Kill Magazine about some of his favourite female artists to look out for, both old and new. Here, we feature the black women artists on that list for you to discover.
—Curation by Gardy St.Fleur
—Text by Luisa Tarantino
*Banner Image: Love Becomes Her, Naudline Pierre
Haitian born New Yorker Gardy St.Fleur is an art curator, collector, and art advisor whose name is well known among NBA players. Born in Port-au-Prince and having moved to Brooklyn when he was just a child, art has always played a central role in St. Fleur’s life, as his father collected work from great Haitian artists, as well as commissioned work for local artists.
During his teen years, he befriended many artists and curators, such as Ionel Talpazan and Emmanuel Benador, and worked with William Villalongo as a studio manager, through which led him to develop a keen interest not only for the art itself, but for the artists. After a stint working in e-commerce after college, St. Fleur decided to pursue his passion, leading him to work for Peggy Cooper Cafritz with the assignment of finding the best new art graduates. Deciding to pursue his passion full time, St. Fleur’s involvement in the NBA came in part from his connections to various player agents, whom he met playing in various basketball courts around Manhattan growing up. He even got to know Deron Williams, former Nets guard, who asked him for help in building an art collection. This led to the proliferation of St. Fleur’s name and expertise across the league.
He now is the owner of Saint Fleur Fine Art Advisory, “a contemporary art consulting firm/private dealership that advises private clients on the acquisition and sales of contemporary art,” specializing in living artists across mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper, and video.
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Haitian born, and raised between Haiti and New York, Florine Démosthène’s art interprets the black female body in a multitude of ways beyond sensuality and fetishization, imbuing her figures with sometimes dystopian characteristics and a duality that posits black women’s bodies beyond stereotype and two-dimensionality. Démosthène’s unique art process an equally unique process, creating her figures on paper through an alchemical process, in which she pours ink on her artwork to allow the ink to react to the work’s surface.
Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Naudline Pierre’s work is inspired by her religious upbringing, informed by spiritual references and personal mythology. As Pierre has illuminated of her own work, her pieces acknowledge the “incredible history contained with [her] body,” which she transfers and translates into a visual language “co-opted from the dominant Western art historical canon,” reimaging the historically underrepresented black female body in mythic realms. As a central subject, Pierre features her alter ego, her “shadow self” in a colorful spectrum of colors, in spiritual conflicts of the angelic and demonic.
An artist, poet, gallery owner, set designer, teacher, and dancer, Suzanne Jackson has had an internationally success career for over four decades, and has been teaching at the Savannah College of Arts and Design in Georgia for the past 27 years. In the early 1960s, she explored techniques in acrylic washed in more figurative idioms, while her recent work has become increasingly more abstract as a way to experiment with texture, line, and fabrics. She has drawn inspiration from nature motifs and celebrated the black body through the relation of black bodies to nature.
Mary Lovelace O’Neal
Painter, activist, and professor, Mary Lovelace O’Neal has been known for her bold paintings and prints that marry scale with layers of materials, exploring both narratives that are deeply personal, as well as the themes of social justice, racism, and other critical contemporary issues and debates in order to “give voice to the ‘intangible elements of the human spirit.” Having roots in both Minimalism and Expressionist painting, O’Neal’s imagery has oscillated between abstract and narrative figuration.