Paul Mpagi Sepuya, "Self-Portrait After, from the series Glasco Turnpike", 2010, archival inkjet print, 20x16”.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, “Self-Portrait After, from the series Glasco Turnpike”, 2010, archival inkjet print, 20×16”.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

I make photographs about the act of portrait making, and the desire to look and understand the connection circuits and relationships between people. I photograph those close to me and I use repetition and simple formal structures to emphasize the shared emotional line that connects these friends, romantic relationships, and family. These works investigate the shifting subject/object dynamic present in the site and event of portrait making, when layered on top of these relationships.

“Glasco Turnpike” is a body of work produced during a month-long residency at CPW, named for the road where my studio and the A-I-R housing was located. The project consists of three parts:

I. Self-portrait;

II. Lav (Matija);

III. Displacements (the redirection of an emotion from its original object to another, or the distance between an object’s initial position and a later position)

Beginning with the self-portrait, the studio, and long-distance exchange with Matija, the images are constructed over daily printing, editing and re-appropriation and re-creation, as well as the movement of an image from its original location to another.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (Brooklyn, NY) studied photography and imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Basel, Sydney, Toronto, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg. His work has been featured and reviewed in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Interview, Capricious, V, Paper, and BUTT, among other publications. Recent exhibitions include Evidence of Accumulation, at the Studio Museum in Harlem and Studio Work at Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis. Along with CPW’s residence, Sepuya has been awarded the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency (2009-2010) and Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2010-2011). An artist who works with ‘zines and books, Sepuya has published several monographs, including Beloved Objects and Amorous Subject, Revisited (2008), The Accidental Egyptian and Occidental Arrangements (2010, in collaboration with fellow artist Timothy Hull), and Studio Work (2012). Paul Mpagi Sepuya was an artist-in-residence at CPW in June of 2010.