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Sophia Adeyemo-Ross

Rhode Island School of Design

Artist Paints Self with Undertones of Identity
oil on masonite


Tell us about the work that you have submitted.

My work explores the layers of separation and bond between myself and others. I am both segregated and united within communities, as a Black artist participating in the historical narrative and legacy of painting.

How do you describe your work and practice?

Regardless of medium, my work is portraiture (often, self). I explore the portrayal of myself as a queer, multiracial, black, female body, investigating autobiographical interactions/connections from my life.

What motivated you to apply to the XL Catlin Art Prize?

I was already pursuing opportunities at the New York Academy of Art because of my interest in their aesthetic practices and culture. I made my decision to apply when I saw that Nicole Eisenman was on the Prize Board, as she is a RISD alumna and painter who I deeply respect.

What themes regularly resurface?

My work is always directly inspired by my experiences, and they are often muddled with the implications of social hierarchies, histories and stigmas (Black American versus Black African, biracialism, socioeconomics, education, art, etc.).