Phoenix S. Brown

Region: Midwest

  Remixing portraiture and preconceived notions of the Black female body is at the core of my practice. By painting representations of nature and the female form with contemporary material and aesthetic choices, I subvert the one-way window of fantasy that Western painting has long offered.

There exists a feedback loop between my analog painting and digital editing that is visible in the final image. My interdisciplinary paintings are layered with impossible brushstrokes from their time in Snapchat and maintain a textured surface that speaks to the Western art cannon. In colonialism, nature and Black women have existed as reserves to exploit; in my work, they commingle and force us to confront our viewing access to them. The work aims to confront the audience’s viewing psychology in the act of projecting their views onto how Black womanhood should exist in reality and in the flat image.