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Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Date: American, 1982
Biography: Paul Mpagi Sepuya completed his BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2004 and received an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016. Sepuya’s work has been regularly exhibited since 2005, including a solo show at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York in 2016. Starting in 2009 Sepuya has been invited to residency programs at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2010), Center for Photography at Woodstock (2010), and the Hyde Park Arts Center in Chicago (2014). In his work Sepuya uses elements of storytelling, portraiture, and homoerotic visual culture. By inserting mirrors and collage-like photographs and staging his friends, partners, and lovers as his subjects, Sepuya investigates the role of the studio as a social environment. Rather than showing a full-length body, Sepuya plays with fragments: limbs, a torso, or a body without a head. He deconstructs the traditional concept of portraiture and leaves the viewer searching for a subject.