Art Spotlight: Devan Shimoyama

Today, as we continue our two-week celebration of The Offing’s first anniversary, we proudly introduce a new department, dedicated exclusively to the visual arts, featuring work aligned with our two central and interconnected missions. Our aesthetic mission is to seek out and support work that challenges, experiments and provokes—work that pushes artistic forms and conventions, but understands that to do so requires a rigorous understanding of those forms and conventions. Our political mission is to center and amplify the voices of those too often marginalized in the worlds of literature and art, and in the world at large. The work we present in the Art department will intentionally further these missions.

The department will feature new work twice monthly. The second Friday of each month, Art Editor Aricka Foreman will present features that combine text and image, and the fourth Friday of each month, Art Editor Katrina Mohn will curate a gallery of work by an emerging artist. Both departments will begin to accept submissions on April 1.

We are thrilled to launch this department with an artist in whose work we see everything that The Offing admires, and everything we aspire to be: rigor, fearlessness, ferocity, and profound beauty.

– The Editors

I renounce the notion of one’s body belonging to oneself. My body serves as the home in which I reside, I maintain and utilize his functionality to navigate the world. He becomes a portal for the viewer to enter and thus to undergo a symbiotic relationship with him.

–Devan Shimoyama

Working through the traditions of mythology, iconography and the archetype of the black queer man, Devan Shimoyama creates his own contemporary fairytale landscapes out of glitter and objects resurrected from his childhood. Shimoyama’s self-portraits, be they dazzling large-scale paintings or shamanistic photographs taken during his residency on Fire Island, are a dance between an earlier generation’s confrontation with identity politics and the dialogue of today’s political upheaval. The work is both deeply specific, using personal objects and narratives, while appealing to a grander human experience through the magic of stories that have been told for eons.

— Introduction by Katrina Mohn, Art Editor

Images courtesy of Samuel Freeman, Los Angeles.

Antigone 3000

“Antigone is a stain we cannot seem to remove, a stain that appears like all stains, completely inconveniently, but also serves as a reminder for inconvenient truths.”

I’ll Be Your Mirror

Alexandra Grant explores the evolving role of mirroring through nearly a decade of her work.