Florine Demosthene : The Capture

Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg, South Africa
06 Aug 2015 - 04 Sep 2015

Florine Demosthene : The Capture

Florine Demosthene, Waiting for Mister Sexy , 2015 (detail)

In her show, titled The Capture, Demosthene sets on a mythical quest to recreate society’s views and understanding of the black female body, depicting herself in various narratives and allegories.  The visualized black female bodies in Demosthene’s artworks are provocative, sexual and enticing.

Florine Demosthene explains: “Images do not prompt me to create, words do.  I spend an inordinate amount of time reading, writing and researching, before approaching the canvas.  When a particular concept intrigues me, generally I will be influenced by reading an essay or article, rather than observing art.  My artwork navigates between stereotypes and representation.  It magnifies the subtlety of racial constructs and how viewers have become comfortable with derogatory images.  My work seeks to examine how black culture is codified and commodified”.

Demosthene is piqued by the physical size of the black female body and how her physicality dictates a certain set of ideals and behavior.  Borrowing from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels, Demosthene chronicled her journey through the Caribbean and West Africa in a series of drawings titled: The Capture.  The drawings created during these travels, depict voluptuous female figures amid a strange world of decay and destruction.

In her show at Gallery MOMO, Demosthene extends these chronicled works into a mirage of symbolic push and pull.  The works capture and repel, but always intrigue the viewer into a mythological world not clear or known.