Coffie Break

February 5, 2009

Just a few months after graduating from SVA, alumnus Patricia Coffie (BFA 2008 Photography) is poised to break out as she presents her work at one of New York City’s premier gallery spaces. Her self-titled solo exhibition is currently on view at the Mary Boone Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue, with staged photographic works that use painted models to explore her heritage as a native of Ghana.

Patricia Coffie, <I>Head of State I</I>, 2007. Courtesy: Mary Boone Gallery, New York.

Patricia Coffie, Head of State I, 2007. Courtesy: Mary Boone Gallery, New York.

Spurred on by the encouragement of SVA alumnus and BFA Photography Department faculty member Billy Sullivan (1968 Fine Arts), Coffie’s portfolio made its way to esteemed gallerist Mary Boone, who immediately saw great promise in this up-and-coming artist. “I usually work from the premise of blackface,” says Coffie of the work in the show, “and in the images I tell a story: folk tales, how I grew up, social commentary.” Her subjects are painted in full-body blackface that contrasts with brightly colored background, costume elements and African iconography, resulting in images that are as painterly as they are photographic. “Patricia Coffie” will be on view at the gallery through Saturday, February 14; click here for more images and information.

Patricia Coffie, <I>Daydreams</I>, 2008. Courtesy: Mary Boone Gallery, New York.

Patricia Coffie, Daydreams, 2008. Courtesy: Mary Boone Gallery, New York.

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