Devan Shimoyama Biography

Devan Shimoyama (b. 1989, USA) is a visual artist whose work explores depictions of the black, queer, male body.

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Though he sometimes employs a variety of other mediums, Shimoyama primarily focuses on painting, specifically the genre of portraiture. His compositions are inspired by those of classical painters of the past, such as Francisco Goya, or Caravaggio. However, his use of materials is distinctly contemporary, as is the particular subject matter he depicts.

Shimoyama has stated that he wants the figures in his work are perceived as 'both desirable and desirous.' He is aware of the politics of queer culture, and the ways in which those politics relate to black American culture. These elements come together in his works in a way that is both celebratory and complicated. The celebratory aspects of Shimoyama's work come through in his choice of materials. Employing such things as fur, feathers, glitter and costume jewels like rhinestones, and sequins, he brings shine and dimensionality to his surfaces. These materials add to the sense that the figures in the works possess a sort of magical aura, and joyful spirit.

Yet, so many of the men in Shimoyama's works also literally have jewels in their eyes, endowing them with a mystified, often vacant expression, interrupting the connection between their inner selves and the viewer, and suggesting a sort of silent suffering. Many are also shedding tears.

Shimoyama was awarded the Al Held Fellowship at the Yale School of Art in 2013 and has had a residency at the 2015 Fire Island Artist Residency. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States. His recent exhibition Cry, Baby was presented at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh from 13 October 2018–17 March 2019. In this exhibition, new and existing works by Shimoyama's work were juxtaposed along with a rotating selection of Warhol's Ladies and Gentlemen paintings from the 1970s. This juxtaposition offers a unique opportunity not only to interrogate the conversation between these two artists' work, but also to consider generational evolutions in the realm of how issues related to gender, sexuality, race and violence are portrayed in contemporary art.

Text courtesy Kavi Gupta.

Devan Shimoyama Featured Artworks

Winning Love By Daylight by Devan Shimoyama contemporary artwork painting
Devan Shimoyama Winning Love By Daylight, 2022 Oil, glitter, coloured pencil, collage, jewellery, silk flower, Flashe, acrylic and embellishments on canvas
213.4 x 172.7 x 5.1 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
Red Haze by Devan Shimoyama contemporary artwork painting
Devan Shimoyama Red Haze, 2021 Oil, coloured pencil, sequins, glitter, jewellery, silk flowers, collage, Flashe, acrylic and embellishments on canvas
121.9 x 152.4 x 5.1 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
Happyness by Devan Shimoyama contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture, photography, print, drawing
Devan Shimoyama Happyness, 2022 Oil, coloured pencil, collage, glitter, fabric, Flashe, acrylic and embellishments on canvas stretched over two panels
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
Chakra Chart II by Devan Shimoyama contemporary artwork painting, drawing
Devan Shimoyama Chakra Chart II, 2021 Oil, coloured pencil, glitter, acrylic, rhinestones, and collage on canvas stretched over panel
182.9 x 182.9 x 3.2 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
Untitled (For Trayvon) by Devan Shimoyama contemporary artwork sculpture
Devan Shimoyama Untitled (For Trayvon), 2020 Silk flowers, beads, and rhinestones on fabric with steel mount and frame
116.8 x 190.5 x 25.4 cm
Kavi Gupta
Mighty Mighty Style Guide (Gentlemen) by Devan Shimoyama contemporary artwork works on paper, print
Devan Shimoyama Mighty Mighty Style Guide (Gentlemen), 2019 Silkscreen collage with glitter and rhinestones on paper
101.6 x 76.2 x 3.8 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery

Devan Shimoyama Recent Exhibitions

Devan Shimoyama Represented By

Kavi Gupta contemporary art gallery in Washington Blvd, Chicago, USA Kavi Gupta Chicago

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