“We generally have a limited understanding of the black male nude as an artistic subject. In my practice, painting the figure entails encountering and interrogating the heroizing, idealizing tradition of the nude in Western Art in which black and brown bodies have been objectified and dehumanized. I’m part of a generation of artists picking up this mantel, locating ourselves as artists, models, and subjects, and working to remake what the nude does and how it produces meaning.”

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One of the gifts of Aleah Chapin’s body-of-work is the idea that true intimacy is achieved first and foremost by revealing oneself honestly. That through vulnerability we are able to deeply connect. One’s imperfections can actually make connection with others deeper, stronger. More real.

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“My paintings are allegorical, but I expect each viewer will bring their own interpretation to a piece. The question one asks depends on the individual interpretation. If it’s a superficial read of literal abuse or abasement, then that is the subject being addressed within the viewer. If there is a more complex interpretation stemming from one’s life experiences, then the piece becomes personal, and asks questions the viewer is interested in answering.”

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