Podcast: Afros and Ceramic Fruit


I met the awesome girls of WSTS radio at my talk at the Hyde Park Art Center and went to their home studio in Woodlawn for an afternoon conversation last weekend. The radio program Afros and Ceramic Fruit is a weekly podcast on contemporary art and culture.

Listen here.

Latitude Chicago


A snapshot from the talk with Elijah Burgher at Latitude Chicago on April 9.

The Pitch Project


Snapshot from before the artist talk on April 7.

Artist Talk at Latitude, Chicago, April 9



I am participating in an artist talk with Elijah Burgher at Latitude Chicago, on April 9, 6:30 – 8pm, on the site of the studio in our practices.

Art Talk at The Pitch Project, April 7




I am giving a talk April 7 at The Pitch Project in Milwaukee, 11:45am – 1pm, on the development of my practice from portrait and darkroom to portraiture and studio.

Open Studios and Artist Talk Dates at HPAC


I am currently in residence at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago through April 15. Below is a calendar of programing I am participating in here – I hope you can make it if you will be in town. If you would like to visit but cannot make open studio hours, write me directly to set up a visit.

Feel free to stop by Studio 5 on the second floor where I will be present for conversation about my work and to meet and chat with anyone who would like to say Hello.

Thursday, March 6: noon – 6 pm
Thursday, March 20: noon – 6pm
Thursday, April 3: noon – 6pm
Sunday, April 13: noon – 3pm

Wednesday, March 26: 6 – 8pm, more information TBA. I will be discussing my past and present work.

Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 South Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60615

Hyde Park Art Center Open Studio




Two snapshots by Dawoud Bey at the Hyde Park Art Center open studio on Saturday. I will be in residence through April 15, with an artist talk on March 26.

Upcoming Panel, Feb 8th


February 8, 2014
Saturday at 3:00PM
RSVP recommended. $10 suggested donation at the door.
This 4-hour conversation takes place in the Parish Hall at St. Mark’s Church (131 East 10th Street at 2nd Avenue).

Conversations Without Walls is a series of discussions addressing current issues in dance, organized by Danspace executive director Judy Hussie-Taylor and performance scholar Jenn Joy. This Conversation is part of Food for Thought: Black Male Revisited. Experimental Representations through the Ephemeral Form., curated by Jaamil Olawale Kosoko.

4-5PM – Expanding Notions of Black Masculinity: Gender and Identity in Visual and Performance Art
Panelists discuss issues of visibility for queer and trans artists working in contemporary art. We touch on themes of tokenism and how artists are currently working to combat negative stereotypes of Blackness and Queerness within the American Art Canon.
With: Thomas Lax – Moderator (Assistant Curator, Studio Museum in Harlem), Paul Mpagi Sepuya (Visual Artist), Geo Wyeth (Artist, Musician), niv Acosta (Artist, Musician)

For complete information see here.


Jackman Goldwasser Residency at Hyde Park Arts Center

I am proud to announce that I have been invited to be an artist in residence at the Hyde Park Arts Center for the second year of the Jackman Goldwasser Residency program.


February 22 – April 15, 2014

Kicking off the 2014 season, we’re happy to welcome New York-based Paul Mpagi Sepuya for his first visit to Chicago. Concerned with the structure and history of photography, Sepuya asks what it means for artists working with photography to be making portraiture today. Working primarily in color, Sepuya’s photographic practice is sited in the artist’s studio where he often portrays young men–friends and acquaintances–collapsing the space between the subject and photographer, highlighting the relationship between the two and his active role, despite being behind the camera. In his words, he attempts “to challenge the diminishment of the portrait photographer and assert the importance of the role of the artist as rooted in time and place.”  The studio also acts as an important space for editing where Sepuya works with both primary photograhs and re-photographed materials from the studio space itself, both of which define and document his practice. Through this process, Sepuya seeks “the possibility of return through reproduction…No two returns are the same.” Brian O’Doherty’s “collage of compressed tenses [within] studio time” allows for the emergence of a space between the documentary and the imaginary, of possibility. While in Chicago, Sepuya plans to mine queer legacies important to the development of Chicago’s cultural life, including Samuel Steward and the Society for Human Rights.

Sepuya’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York (2010), the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2010-2011), Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, and Artspeak, Vancouver.

Residency Project

While in Chicago, Sepuya will be tracing legacies of individuals and institutions crucial to the development of Chicago’s queer culture. Echoing his practice, Sepuya’s studio at Hyde Park Art Center will be an important site for his experiments framing, cropping, and editing photographs.

Please join us for an Open Studio event on Saturday, February 22 from 2-4pm to meet Paul at the start of his residency!

School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, artist talk 1/23

I will be giving an artist talk at SMFA Boston tomorrow at 12:30pm. Information here.

Lightning Speed of the Present


The group exhibition Lightning Speed of the Present explores the ephemeral transformation of experience into histories, memories and narratives. The exhibition considers the transient nature of experience—individual and collective—and the multiple ways our various experiences are recorded, translated, interpreted, described, transcribed, fragmented and ultimately visualized through form and material. Featured artists include Ben Berlow, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Georgina Lewis, Danica Phelps, Jacolby Satterwhite, Sandrine Schaefer, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Rachel Perry Welty, and August Ventimiglia.
image: Paul Mpagi Sepuya, excerpts from Studio Wall, April 12, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

808 Gallery at Boston University
808 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
For more information, please call 617-353-3371.

LA Art Book Fair 2014


Printed Matter’s LA ART BOOK FAIR 2014
January 31- February 2, 2014
Opening: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 6–9 pm
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Room F



I will hosting an interactive performance this Friday night at 1am (Saturday) at Recess as part of the 24 HR BALLAD, a project by my friends Alex Segade and Malik Gaines aka Courtesy the Artists.

Courtesy the Artists (Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade) with Niv Acosta, Morgan Bassichis, Gregg Bordowitz, Quincy Flowers, Charles Gaines, Miguel Guttierez, Nick Hallett, Vishal Jugdeo, Zach Layton, Sara Magenheimer, Zavé Martohardjono, Sam Greenleaf Miller, Hiroshi McDonald Mori, Tavia Nyong’o, Jeanine Oleson, Jessica Posner, Katy Pyle, Matana Roberts, Marina Rosenfeld, Joshua Seidner, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Christine Sun Kim, and Saya Woolfalk. Presented in conjunction with Performa13.

Extending the narrative form past its own logical conclusion, the 24-Hour Ballad performance draws out one folk song for a full sun-cycle. Courtesy the Artists and collaborators will take a full day to explore “Black is the Color (Of My True Love’s Hair),” an Appalachian folk song with Scottish roots often associated with the Civil War, and later Civil Rights, through memorable interpretations by Nina Simone and Patty Waters. Meditating on the refrain, which suggests an array of affective positions and relations, the artists re-consider the text as an evocation of the non-blond.

Each artist and/or cultural producer will make a work responding to the folk song, scheduled for a different hour of the day, from noon Friday to noon Saturday. Improvisations, recitals, critiques and spectacles!

Body Language at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Still on view at The Studio Museum in Harlem is the group exhibition Body Language, through October 27, curated by Abbe Schriber. Body Language explores the body and written or verbal expression. Comprised mostly of works from the Studio Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition shows how artists use language to evoke relationships to bodies, including those of viewers, using the human form to communicate ideas much as words might. Some of the artists investigate the language of nonverbal communication, while others inscribe, paint or gesture onto the page. Other works depict figures to purposefully elicit a “read”—how might audiences interpret a portrait differently than the artist’s (or author’s) intention? Body Language also illustrates the international scope of the Museum’s collection, with work by Deborah Grant, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Valerie Piraino, Malick Sidibé, Tavares Strachan, Barthélémy Toguo, among others.

Tête-à-Tête at QF Gallery opening August 24.

QF – Quattlebaum Foretich – Gallery is pleased to present Tête a Tête, a group exhibition curated by Mickalene Thomas and featuring work by Derrick Adams, Zachary Fabri, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Deana Lawson, Nicole Miller, Zanele Muholi, Wangechi Mutu, Hannah Price, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Malick Sidibe, Xaviera Simmons, Mickalene Thomas and Hank Willis Thomas.

QF Gallery, 98 Newtown Lane, East Hampton

Opening Saturday, August 24 – September 15

The Egyptian, 2010 C-pring diptych, 16 x 20 inches each; Edition of 3