(left) Paul Mpagi Sepuya, "Studio, March 11", 2011, from the series "Studio Work", digital C-print, 10x8". (right) Installation view of "Studio Work Archive", 2010-2011, site specific excerpt from the collection of five file boxes of material from the artists' Studio Museum residency including the following items: books ("Generations in Black and White", "Paul Outerbridge", "The Passionate Observer", "Black", "Jens F", "Self-portrait with Friends", "Cecil Beaton", "Vita and Harold", "The Letters of Virginia Woolf Volume 2", "Orlando", "Violet to Vita", "Broderie Anglaise", "Assault With a Deadly Camera", "Just Kids", "Mapplethorpe", "Studio and Cube", "Long Life Cool White", and "A Lover’s Discourse)", magazines, papers, laser prints on paper, digital C-prints (8x10”, 4x6”, and various sizes), medium-format instant photographs, push pins, post-it notes, bookmarks, bricks, store-bought frames, dried orange peels, manila envelopes, pens, pencils, clips, filing boxes, fabric, bubble-wrap.

(left) Paul Mpagi Sepuya, “Studio, March 11”, 2011, from the series “Studio Work”, digital C-print, 10×8″.
(right) Installation view of “Studio Work Archive”, 2010-2011, site specific excerpt from the collection of five file boxes of material from the artists’ Studio Museum residency including the following items: books (“Generations in Black and White”, “Paul Outerbridge”, “The Passionate Observer”, “Black”, “Jens F”, “Self-portrait with Friends”, “Cecil Beaton”, “Vita and Harold”, “The Letters of Virginia Woolf Volume 2”, “Orlando”, “Violet to Vita”, “Broderie Anglaise”, “Assault With a Deadly Camera”, “Just Kids”, “Mapplethorpe”, “Studio and Cube”, “Long Life Cool White”, and “A Lover’s Discourse)”, magazines, papers, laser prints on paper, digital C-prints (8×10”, 4×6”, and various sizes), medium-format instant photographs, push pins, post-it notes, bookmarks, bricks, store-bought frames, dried orange peels, manila envelopes, pens, pencils, clips, filing boxes, fabric, bubble-wrap.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Developed during the Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2010-2011 artist in residence program, “Studio Work” is both a volume of photographs – formal portraits, loose snapshots, and still-lifes and details of the space – and an installation composed of those materials accumulated in the studio space, tracing my occupation and photo-making from the beginning to the end of the residency. In the residency I explored how the studio environment, as the site of creation, editing, and accumulation affects and frames portraiture, and the performance of portraiture. In the studio I make self-portraits and invite friends to spend time and have their portraits made in formal set-ups as well as snapshots. Each portrait is constructed amidst the unfinished editing process of those works that preceded it, and in reference to those other images that surround us. Post-residency, I am continually interested in exploring the studio environment’s effects on the development of meaning and context to the resulting works.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (Brooklyn, NY) earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (NYC). He has had solo shows at Franklin Art Works (Minneapolis, MN) and NP Contemporary Art Space (NYC), among others. Group exhibitions have been shown internationally at The Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), and ninetyfive (Berlin), among others. His work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, Interview, The New York Times, and Artforum, among others. Last year, he was an artist-in-residence at Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), in 2010 he was an artist-in-residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, and in 2009 he had an artist residency at Workspace of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

paulsepuya.com