In This Imperfect Present Moment is the title of a portrait by Toyin Ojih Odutola. She is one of 15 artists who live in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Cotonou/Rotterdam, Luanda/Lisbon, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York whose work has been brought to Seattle by local collectors who are intrigued by how these artists convey vibrant narratives that resonate across global boundaries.
Ojih Odutola says she focuses on ". . . the understated in art: moments that can be quickly passed over but are complex and layered." This premise continues as artists in this installation layer complex imagery to envision moments with the issues of labor, leadership, faith, and portraiture.
Photographs of workers by South African artists David Goldblatt, Pieter Hugo, and Mikhael Subotzky suggest the affects of AIDS, bees, and technological waste. Leaders are subjected to extreme satire in cloth appliques by Lawrence Lemoana and a photograph by Kiluanji Kia Henda, while a tapestry by Igshann Adams and photographs by Hasan and Hussain Essop showcase unique ways of displaying their Islamic beliefs. Portraits of women by Amy Sherald, Xaviera Simmons, and Genevieve Gaignard take ownership over women's representation, while Athi-Patra Ruga and Saya Woolfalk portray avatars from idealized utopias.
Image: Saint Woman, 2015, Amy Sherald, American, b. 1973, Oil on canvas, 54 x 43 in., Private collection, photo courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.