M. Florine Démosthène
For the past decade, I have been living in and traveling through Africa. I initially made this move abroad because I wanted to experience blackness at its root, and I felt that my immersion in African culture (particularly in Ghana) would grant me greater insight to my work and process. During this journey, I have come to discover that the growing misconceptions around the black female body are deeply embedded in the African psyche. I’m intrigued by how we, as black people, view ourselves and the layers of foreign philosophies that we have within our existence. My art has been a peeling away of layers of preconceived ideas; much in the way a snake sheds its skin.
Black womanhood is a dynamic archive of knowledge, formed of flesh, spirit and memory. In my practice, I explore black femininity against the backdrop of my own biography. Using a mixture of mylar, ink, pigment and glitter, I depict voluptuous, curvaceous bodies that simultaneously appear weightless-floating, as if viewed from below, transcending some higher plane. These otherworldly women hover over a nebulous world, in which they have the power to divine the future, move across time or heal. In deconstructing images and then building them back up, I reimagine a new kind of mythology around the black female heroine.
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About the Artist
M. Florine Démosthène was born in the United States and raised between Port-au-Prince, Haiti and New York. Démosthène earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School for Design in New York and her Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College-City University of New York.
She has exhibited extensively through group and solo exhibitions in the USA, Caribbean, UK, Europe and Africa, with recent solo shows including, solo exhibition Between Possibility and Actuality at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery Chicago, a solo booth exhibition with Mariane Ibrahim Gallery at the The New York Armory Fair and The Stories I Tell Myself (Gallery 1957, Ghana).
She is the recipient of a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Arts Moves Africa Grant and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. She has participated in residencies in the USA, UK, Slovakia, Ghana and Tanzania. Her work can be seen at the University of South Africa (UNISA), Lowe Museum of Art, Hessler Museum of Art, PFF Collection of African American Art and in various private collections worldwide.
The Artist's Words