Sedrick Chisom Biography

Drawing inspiration from an eclectic range of sources including Victorian fantasy illustrations, medieval Christian iconography, Western mythology and landscape painting tradition, and sensibilities of sci-fi, Sedrick Chisom's paintings depict an apocalyptic world that revisits the tropes of racial stereotypes, agency, white supremacy, and religion.

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Manipulating Paint

Sedrick Chisom's art primarily employs paint, manipulating it in such ways as spray-painting, dripping, scraping, and staining to create ambiguous spaces that merge into one another. His large-scale paintings are often presented unstretched, hanging from walls like tapestries or, as Eve Wood writes in Medium, skins.

Apocalyptic World

Narratives revolving around an apocalyptic world were at the core of his solo exhibitions When the Night Air Stirs (2019) at Matthew Brown, Los Angeles, and Westward Shrinking Hours, which was presented by London's Pilar Corrias as part of Condo 2020. In the world that Chisom depicts, people of colour have ventured into the universe while white people remain on earth. The latter discovers a new humankind with animal-like and grotesque physical features that turn out to be aides for survival.

Through the introduction of a new human species, Chisom considers the trope of whiteness in fiction as the embodiment of civilisation and order; the protagonist against the unknown Other. In his artist's statement for Fountainhead Fellowship in Painting and Drawing in 2019, he writes that 'there are deliberately very few black bodies involved in this narrative', as a way of focusing the consequences of racism directly on white bodies.

Writing for Ocula Magazine in 2021, Jareh Das described Chisom's depictions as 'a post-emancipatory movement reclaiming ownership over Black identity free from white supremacy'.

Titles and Suspense

Chisom also often uses long titles that help describe the scenes within his paintings. The charcoal drawing, The Low Frequency Shade Broadcasted By A Donestre Towards The Story of The Altrightland in The Age of Monster (2019), for example, shows an animal-headed human-hybrid in the midst of a dark landscape, while the painting An Early Episode of The Empire's Preemptive Counterattack on The Monstrous Race in the Savage South (2019) focuses on two figures seemingly embroiled in battle.

There exists a suggestion of suspense in many of Chisom's paintings, in which figures appear ghost-like and buoyant. Examples can be found in The Nighttime Encounter of the First Miasma (2019), where the two figures' bodies gradually turn from dark to translucent white, or in "...In The Cave Where You Put Your Monsters To Death" (2018), in which a topless figure raises his two hands as if in defense against a hovering mask in the air.

Education and Exhibitions

Chisom received a BFA from the Copper Union, New York, in 2016, and an MFA from Rutgers University, New Jersey, in 2018.

Selected solo exhibitions include Twenty Thousand Years of Fire and Snow, Pilar Corrias, London (2021); When the Night Air Stirs, Matthew Brown Los Angeles (2019); You Just Gotta Look For It, Coopern, New York (2018).

Selected group exhibitions include Cult of the Crimson Queen, Ceysson & Bénétière, New York (2020); Great Force, Institute of Contemporary Art, Richmond (2019); Foreground 19, Cooper Union, New York (2017).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021

Sedrick Chisom Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Sedrick Chisom contemporary artwork painting
Sedrick Chisom Untitled, 2021 Oil on linen
50 x 50 x 2.5 cm
Pilar Corrias Enquire
The Kemetopians by Sedrick Chisom contemporary artwork works on paper
Sedrick Chisom The Kemetopians, 2020 Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and watercolour pencil on tiled sheets of paper glued to canvas
151.1 x 112.4 cm
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Pilar Corrias
The Murderous Cool Down Rhythms That Snuck Through The Air During The Eleventh Hour in The Valley of The Rocks by Sedrick Chisom contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Sedrick Chisom The Murderous Cool Down Rhythms That Snuck Through The Air During The Eleventh Hour in The Valley of The Rocks, 2019 Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and watercolour pencil on tiled sheets of paper glued to canvas
151.1 x 167.6 cm
Pilar Corrias
When They Roost On Hollow Men by Sedrick Chisom contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Sedrick Chisom When They Roost On Hollow Men, 2019 Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and watercolour pencil on tiled sheets of paper glued to canvas
167.6 x 149.9 cm
Pilar Corrias
An Early Episode of The Empire’s Preemptive Counterattack on The Monstrous Races in The Savage South by Sedrick Chisom contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Sedrick Chisom An Early Episode of The Empire’s Preemptive Counterattack on The Monstrous Races in The Savage South, 2019 Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and watercolour pencil on tiled sheets of paper glued to canvas
151.8 x 112.4 cm
Pilar Corrias
Westward Shrinking Hours Pt. II by Sedrick Chisom contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Sedrick Chisom Westward Shrinking Hours Pt. II, 2019 Oil, acrylic, and spray paint on canvas
182.2 x 216.5 cm
Pilar Corrias
Dreams of A Disillusioned Misstep In The Valley of The Rocks by Sedrick Chisom contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Sedrick Chisom Dreams of A Disillusioned Misstep In The Valley of The Rocks, 2019 Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and watercolour pencil on tiled sheets of paper glued to canvas
149.2 x 112.4 cm
Pilar Corrias

Sedrick Chisom Recent Exhibitions

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