Raque Ford

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Artist Statement

I’ve been working in translating my writing into sculptures that mimic paintings. I tend to work in industrial materials like acrylic sheets and tough thick plastic sheets. I write out the letters in sharpie and then have them laser cut into the acrylic. Taking this personal touch of handwriting and transforming it into this clunky acrylic sheets losing parts of the intimacy but also gaining something new. Centering around desire and adoration the narratives are often created from found text, lyrics from female R&B leads or lines from fan letters to female celebrities. I’ve been pushing myself to write more and more new content which brings in the beyonce zine and large polyptych piece. The story generated from the desire to make an erotic novel, but in the end it tells a story about a female friendship, a seemingly more complicated relationship than most. The tale uses characters who are not the actual Beyonce and Rihanna but in some ways see themselves as them. Scenes from the story are depicted on different panels and the zine is displayed with the piece as a take away.

“ People think I look just like Beyonce.
When I go to the store or out they stop me all the time to check. Like the other day the kid at the compare foods asked all shy “excuse me miss are you Beyonce?” I laugh and say “no no no but thank you, I get it all the time…you know what though deep down I really feel more like solange the alt sister who’s hip and carefree appearing,……..i’ll tell you a secret because your cute..really deep down inside me I’m more of a Jay Z…….I’m a strong man….with lots of attitude and a dick…..with lots of swag…. I harness that power of masculinity… bring it out and up through my layers to me…….who I really am……but anyway thank you! you made my day!
I’m not Beyonce I just look like her, I did change my name to beyonce but I’m not her”
This happens everyday somewhere somebody thinks I’m Beyonce, so I just changed my name to beyonce She’s the Queen I bow down too while everyone else bows down to me. Think of it as I’m the angel that walks among the common people. The pro who hangs with civilians. I try not to flaunt it I just live my day to day like Beyonce. “

-excerpt from beyonce 2016

From that story I moved on to my new character, Georgie Brown, trying to fulfill a desire to tell a story that centered around a depressed black female character. The idea stems from a film I watched once with my father Cabin in the Sky (1943), one of the first big production cinematic musical with an all-black cast. Originating as a play it has its own problems with how race is displayed, but also is a really great film and musical. I was drawn to Lena Horne’s character, Georgia Brown, who is this temptress used by the devil to sway the leading male character into faulting and losing his soul and going to hell. Frustrated at how flat of a character Georgia Brown was I wanted make her my own. I’m working on an epistolary zine, that are letters written to the devil from Georgia Brown giving her reasons for why she sold her soul to the devil.

“ Dear Devil,
I write to you with hopes to end my loneliness I sold my soul for your companionship. Have you forgotten of me? You blinded me with my utmost desires with beauty and confidence and left me with this aching feeling of always wanting more. Is this what a life of sensualism is like? It’s not what I expected. I don’t know what I expected.
Love your daughter,
Georgia Brown “

-excerpt from Dear Devil 2016

CV

EDUCATION

2013
MFA Visual Arts, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts.
2010
Postgraduate Diploma of Fine Art,Virginia Commonwealth University.
BFA Painting Pratt Institute

SOLO AND 2 PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2016
Your’s Truly, Georgia Brown, International Studio & Curatorial Program, Brooklyn,NY (upcoming).
Raquel, Racquel with Rachel Malin, S1, Portland, Oregon.
2015
That Which We Call A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet, Soloway Brooklyn, NY.
2014
Raque, Welcome Screen, London, UK.
Absolutely Yours with Erika Hickle, 321 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016
Flat Fix,Code Art Fair, curated by Ryan Steadman and Ryan Walsh, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2 Freaky 2 Friday, Pelican Bomb Gallery X, New Orleans, Louisiana.
A pool is water, Galerie Division, Montreal, Canada.
Dusty Contessa Finds a Homestead, Kimberly Klark, Queens, New York.
Fantasy Can Invent Nothing New, Sculpture Center, Queens, New York.
2015
Fence Show, curated by Sam Korman and Israel Lund, Apples, Brooklyn, New York.
Business as Usual, organized by Perce Jerrom, London, UK.
F ∙R ∙I ∙E ∙N ∙D ∙S Curated by Michael Pybus Evelyn Yard. London, UK.
The Alembic of Creative Thought, Westminster Waste, London, UK.
Room Service. Motel, Brooklyn, NY.
2014
I Just Finished Eating A Hamburger, McDonald’s Chinatown, NY.
2013
Congregation Curated by Sheila Pepe, 106 Green, Brooklyn, NY.
Hollister @ Fitness (Untitled), Volume I, Fitness Center for Arts & Tactics, Brooklyn, NY.
Le Weekend, MakeShift Studios, Brooklyn, NY.
¯\_(?)_/¯, White Box, New York, NY.
Dim Sum, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Mason Gross Galleries, New Brunswick, NJ.
2012
Sex on The Beach, et al Projects, New York, NY.
2011
Middling, A Weekend of Muted Spectacle, Gowanus Ballroom, Brooklyn, NY.
Mediation Group Show, Macdougal Space, Brooklyn, NY
2010
Agent Form, FAB Gallery, Richmond,VA.
13 Artist, S.E.A. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

RESIDENCIES

2016
The New York Community Trust Van Lier Residency at International Studio & Curatorial Program. Brooklyn, New York.
Women in Residence. S1. Portland, Oregon.

AWARDS

2015
Emergency Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
2014
Nominated for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Arts Grant.
20112013
Teaching Assistant Fellowship, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, NJ.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2014
“24 Artist to Watch in 2015” Modern Painters,December 2014