Muzae Sesay

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: Oakland, CA

I’m interested in analyzing the fragmentation and validity of memory through the recollection of home and community. I find investigating domestic environments to be like looking at the root to question the flower.

Certain of my paintings depict the struggle of trying to accurately remember a space from the past. Small aspects or vignettes shift and blend together without a clear picture of the space as a whole. Some play with manipulating memory through a process of implanting a fake consciousness of a fake space— remembering how it felt to be somewhere that physically exists nowhere. Others come from a practice of empathy—imagining someone else’s memory and what that might feel like. All approaches demonstrate a critical lens on memory: how fluid and individualistic ours can be, and yet how completely it shapes the world we collectively live in.

Challenging the acute recollection of facts, I focus on atmosphere, color, and rhythm to reflect how we feel about specific memories. In painting, as in thought, the emotional takeaway ends up surpassing the clarity of direct representation.