Florine Demosthene wins Joan Mitchell Foundation GrantThursday, December 15th, 2011 Categories: Diaspora, Fellowships, Updates
Haitian American artist Florine Demosthene has captured this year’s Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in 1993 to fulfill the ambitions of Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) to aid and assist the needs of painters and sculptors. The Foundation seeks to demonstrate that painting and sculpture are significant cultural necessities. To further this mandate, the Foundation annually awards grants to painters and sculptors, supports outside programming such as workshops and residencies serving individual artists, and provides free art education opportunities for New York City Youth. By encouraging the ambitions of developing artists, the Foundation celebrates the unique legacy of Joan Mitchell as an American artist and seeks to emphasize and draw attention to the important contributions of artists working today. The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors grant is conducted annually with the selection of approximately twenty-five recipients in recognition of artistic merit and financial need, to further their artistic careers.
About the artist:
Florine Demosthene earned her BFA from Parsons the New School for Design and her MFA from Hunter College. Her artwork examines how black culture is commodified and fetishized. Whether through paintings or drawings, she seeks to magnify the subtlety of racial constructs and how viewers have become comfortable with derogatory images.
Her most recent work, The Capture, delves into the subconscious mind of a black heroine and the ephemeral quality of her thoughts and experiences. As she uncovers her special abilities, through a succession of serendipitous events, she comes to understand how these moments of self-realization can be so very temporal. With this new series, Demosthene has been intrigued by the black female body as an icon in contemporary imagery and how her physical size is supposed to dictate a certain set of ideals and behaviour. The Capture is the initial phase to constructing a non-typical black female heroine persona.