Sedrick Chisom

“Year XX10, the final year of the Christian era. Twenty years after People of Color gave up on wypipo and left the planet to explore the cosmos, the enigmatic genetic disease revitiligo expresses itself amongst every yt on earth, imperiling whiteness. With no known cure, the remaining terrestrial nations of North America face unprecedented national turmoil as wypipo begin to develop dark skin pigmentation. President Maura Gardener of the Coastal Union of Civic States and President Ronald Tiller of the Confederate Disaffiliation of States concurrently declare a state of emergency for the countries they lead. A combined forces military operation between the Confederate Disaffiliation of States and the Coastal Union of Civic States is launched to search for Aryanness in Other Places. Scouts from both the CD of S and the CU of CS conduct a joint expedition in the polar ice caps of Monument Valley, where reports of monstrous people being sighted in the savage south have emerged…”

My work operates from this narrative premise and is situated in an intradisciplinary practice of painting and playwriting (I wrote a three act play concerning the same narrative). I merge the genres and formal tropes of Science Fiction with the romantic landscape to envision a polemic anti-eulogy of whiteness, maleness, and the myth of individuality. A character in its own right, Monument Valley functions in my work as an unpromising and refusing cultural site, a battleground where the apocalyptic narratives of white supremacy, Christianity, and climate change intersect. In this scenario, most of the built environment has been obliterated and transformed into a toxic, hallucinatory wasteland. The heroic American white male who anticipates the celebration of his individuality is confronted with failure, vulnerability, and his own inevitable otherness. Often times my figures are virtually naked, stand awkwardly, and suffer from bodily afflictions. They are always alone (especially when the figures exist in groups)— yet instead of marking the potential for self-reliance, their loneliness marks their displacement, their alienation, their awkwardness, and their inadequacy. I use the term “marking” not solely for poetic value, but literally as a delineation of the vibrant irregular undulated contour lines that diagnose the bodies and landscapes in my paintings as “diseased”. “Disease”, particularly the medieval symptomizing of disease through impure bodily fluids, is a seminal theme that congeals in both my writing and painting as colored phlegm. My palette is defiantly contaminated. Color maps onto these landscapes as disordered structures and registers the discolored bodies of my white male subjects as “foreign”. I use toxic pigment of varied consistencies to confront the white cube of the gallery as a structural condition for Western chromophobia.

In my work, there are deliberately very few black characters who participate in this narrative. As a black man, I am sick of the black body being the eternal subject of racial trauma, and by extension cast as the loser of history. This is to say that, I position the direct subject of racism to be white people, and therefore in my narratives, the consequences of racism are inevitably enacted upon white bodies. My work could be a cautionary tale, a contemplation of the unworkability of speculative whiteness that is implied to prefigure Afrofuturism, it could also simply be.

I reference contemporary Black Lives Matter imagery, pop culture, medieval Christian iconography, figures from western mythology/history, details from my own idiosyncratic life story, and Nina Simone.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYcgCiWAv8c

BFA COOPER UNION
(2016)
MFA RUTGERS (MASON GROSS)
(2018)

SHOWS

(2018)
THESIS show II “Future Years” (The Final Excursion Into the Savage South) (33 Livingston)
FOREGROUND 19
(44 Cooper Square)

(2017)
WELCOME BACK SHOW
(33 Livingston)

ACCIDENTAL RACIST
(33 Livingston)

TRACES
(Mana Contemporary)

(2016)
PROVERBIAL BALLS
(9 Road 3, Piscataway)
ATLANTA LADIES MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION
(Zimmerli Muesum 71 Hamilton st NJ)

ENDLESS BIENNIAL
(Blackburn 20/20 Gallery 323 W 39th st NYC)

SAME BOAT
(LAB Road 3 NJ)

YOU ARE ONE OF A KIND
(K&P Gallery 547 W 27th St NYC)

SPREADING RUMORS INSIDE THE CHAPEL
(3 Kirkpatrick Chapel NJ)

SWEET POTATO
(33 Livingston NJ)

MORTESEN FALL ROTATION
(Renyi Gallery 85 George st NJ)

WINDOW SHOPPING
(31 3rd avenue)

YOU JUST GOTTA LOOK FOR IT
(41 Cooper Square NYC)

END OF YEAR SHOW
(30 Cooper Square)

2015
RESERVOIR DOGS
(Reservoir Art space)

END OF YEAR SHOW
(30 Cooper Square)

OUT THE WINDOW
(30 Cooper Square)

RESIDENCIES
Macedonia Institute (2019)

NEWS
Artmaze magazine spring 2018 edition
New American Paintings issue 134
Editors’ Picks: 6 Art Events to See in New York This Week https://news.artnet.com/market/editors-picks-may-23-2016-502970
“Nihilism is the motto for this unconventional art exhibition” http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/nihilism-is-the-motto-for-this-unconventional-art- biennial
Young space interview
http://www.young-space.com/blog/2017/3/sedrick-chisom

SCHOLARSHIPS

Full Tuition Scholarship (Cooper Union)
Full Tuition Scholarship (Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University) Jacques and Natasha Gelman award For Exceptional Ability In Painting Mason Gross School of Art Teaching Fellowship
William Randolph Hearst Scholarship
Laura Miller Margolius ‘42 Memorial Scholarship
Type Director Club Award

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

PART-TIME LECTURER
MASON GROSS AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY (2018) MASON GROSS AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY (2017) TEACHING ASSISTANT
MASON GROSS AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY (2016)
ART INSTRUCTOR
THE SATURDAY PROGRAM AT COOPER UNION (2012 – 2014)