I make photographs, books and installations rooted in portraiture, homoerotic visual culture and the function of the studio. Portraiture is the foundation of my practice. The subjects appearing in my work are a cast of friends, intimates and muses. They are founded in ongoing relationships mediated by the making and production of photographs.

My working process plays of of what Brian O’Doherty calls the “collage of compressed tenses [within] studio time.” Every photograph contains within it the instances of what preceded it. In thinking of photography this way, I am able to bring together and embrace the contradictions that photographic production generates: in its accelerated gratification of desire and simultaneous displacement of its subjects by the resulting image-objects. It allows me to hold, within the studio, all material as potential. Each enters into the frame of another within a chain of production, revision, destruction and re-production. – January 2017

 

b.1982 San Bernardino, CA.

Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

 

EDUCATION

2016 MFA Photography, University of California Los Angeles

2004 BFA Photography & Imaging, New York University Tisch School of the Arts

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS

2018 Fotomuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands. Upcoming.

2018 “Dark Room,” Document Gallery, Chicago, IL.

2017 “Dark Room,” Team (Bungalow), Los Angeles, CA.

2017 “Portraits / Positions,” KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY.

2017 “Figures, Grounds and Studies,” Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY.

2015 “Figures / Grounds / Studies,” DOCUMENT, Chicago, IL.

2014 “STUDIO WORK,” Platform Centre for Photography, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

2013 “RECENT PICTURES / a journal,” Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN.

2013 “STUDIO WORK,” Artspeak, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

2011 “STUDIO WORK,” Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, MN.

2010 “Portraits / Positions,” NP Contemporary Art Space, New York, NY.

2009 “Alexandria,” envoy enterprises, New York, NY.

2007 “Beloved Object and Amorous Subject,” envoy gallery, New York, NY. (catalogue)

 

TWO AND THREE PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2017 Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY. With Deana Lawson and Judy Linn.

2016 “storefront: Public Fiction,” MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. With Litia Perta, curated by Lauren Mackler.

2016 “MFA Thesis Show #3,” New Wight Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles, CA. With Nikita Gale and Sarah Sarchin.

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018 “This is Not a Prop,” David Zwirner Gallery, New York, NY. Upcoming

2018 “Being : New Photography 2018,” The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

2018 “Tag : Proposals on Queer Play and the Way Forward,” ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. Curated by Nayland Blake.

2017 “Trigger : Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” The New Museum, New York, NY. 

2017 “Discursive Selves,” Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY. 

2017 “A Sag, Harbored,” Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL. 

2017 “Over the Rainbow,” Praz-Delavallade, Los Angeles, CA.

2017 “Visual Notes for an Upside-Down World,” P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York, NY.

2017 “The Coffins of Paa Joe and the Pursuit of Happiness,” Jack Shainmann Gallery’s The School, Kinderhook, NY.

2017 “Regarding the Figure,” The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

2017 “Picturing Love: Photography’s Pursuit of Intimacy,” Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY.

2017 “Compassionate Protocols,” Callicoon Fine Arts, New York, NY. Curated by Moyra Davey and Jason Simon.

2016 “Tête-à-tête,” David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL. Curated by Mickalene Thomas.

2016 “Protuberances,” LAXART, Los Angeles, CA.

2016 “Occupy Space Differently,” Ochi Projects, Los Angeles, CA.

2016 “A Subtle Likeness,” ONE Archive, Los Angeles, CA.

2016 “James Baldwin / Jim Brown and the Children,” The Artists’ Institute, New York, NY. Curated by Hilton Als.

2016 “Jack Pierson: Tomorrow’s Man,” University of Nevada, Reno, NV. Curated by Jack Pierson.

2016 “Queering the Biblioproject,” Center for Book Arts, New York, NY. Curated by John Chaich.

2016 “Terms of Use : Reproducing the Photographic Image,” Glass Curtain Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, IL. Curated by Aron Gent.

2015 “Record. Collect. Compose,” Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Curated by Masood Kamandy (catalogue)

2015 “I Am a Camera,” Houston Foto Fest, Houston, TX.

2015 “A Room of One’s Own,” Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY.

2015 “Nine Artists,” Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

2015 “Introducing! Young California Photographer Award,” Paris Photo LA, Los Angeles, CA.

2015 “In Profile: Portraits from the Permanent Collection,” the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

2014 “Kings County,” Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa. (catalogue)

2014 “Spain & 42 St.,” Foxy Production, New York, NY.

2014 “Something Beautiful,” Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY.

2014 “Beyond the Pale,” Interstate Project, Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Sam McKinniss. (catalogue)

2014 “Race, Love, and Labor,” Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, NY. Curated by Sarah Lewis. (catalogue)

2014 “The Thing Itself,” Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY.

2014 “Lighting Speed of the Present,” Boston University, Boston, MA. Curated by Lynne Cooney.

2013 “Tête-a-Tête,” QF Gallery, East Hampton, NY. Curated by Mickalene Thomas.

2013 “Body Language,” The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

2013 “The Kids Are All Right,” Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, NC.

2013 “White Boys,” Cantor-Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, Philadelphia, PA. Curated by Hank Willis Thomas and Natasha Logan. (catalogue)

2012 “The Kids Are All Right,” Koelher Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI.

2012 “BENEATH,” VOGT Gallery, New York, NY.

2012 “B-OUT,” Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY.

2012 “Surface Tension,” Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY.

2011 “Pride & Prejudice Reprise,” Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Curated by LaToya Ruby Frazier.

2011 “Evidence of Accumulation: Simone Leigh, Kamau Amu Patton, Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY. (catalogue)

2011 “Portraits,” I-20 Gallery, New York, NY. Curated by Simon Watson.

2010 “Quadruple-Consciousness,” Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA. Curated by Malik Gaines. (catalogue)

2010 “In Translation (Portraiture),” Skylight Projects, New York, NY. Curated by Joe Sheftel.

2010 “Lost Horizon / Head Shop,” Exile Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Curated by Billy Miller.

2010 “The Accidental Egyptian and Occidental Arrangements,” Façade/Fasad, Brooklyn, NY.

2010 “50 Artists Photograph the Future,” Higher Pictures, New York, NY. Curated by Dean Daderko.

2010 “Printed Matter’s Queer Zines,” Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway.

2009 “Compassion,” Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY. Curated by AA Bronson

2009 “30 Seconds Off an Inch,” The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

2009 “Buddy List,” Space 414, Brooklyn, New York, NY.

2009 “Lyst,” Overtaden Institut for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen, Denmark.

2009 “Inside of Me,” PHIL, Los Angeles, CA.

2009 “My Bloody Valentine,” Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. Curated by Darin Klein.

2008 “Artist as Publisher,” Center for Book Arts, New York, NY.

2008 “LEADAWARDS2008,” Deichterhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

2008 “Male: photographs, drawings, paintings and ephemera from the collection of Vince Aletti,” White Columns, New York, NY. (book)

2007 “Come Join The Brotherhood,” Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney and Neon Parc Galery, Melbourne, Australia

2007 “The Male Gaze,” The powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn, New York, NY.

2006 “When Fathers Fail,” Daniel Reich Gallery, New York, NY.

2006 “Six Degrees of Separation,” Stefan Stux Gallery, NY.

2006 “When Artists Say ‘We’,” Artist Space, New York, NY. Curated by Andrea Geyer.

2005 “Face & Figure: Portrait and Figure Study in Contemporary Photography,” Westport Art Center, Westport, CT. Curated by Daniel Cooney.

 

AWARDS AND RESIDENCES

2018 Artist-in-Residence, Lightwork, Syracuse, NY

2017 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant for Emerging Los Angeles Artists

2015 Finalist, Paris Photo Los Angeles inaugural Introducing! Young California Photographer Award

2014 Jackman Goldwasser Artist-in-Residence, Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago

2013 Artist-in-Residence, Fire Island Artist Residency (Sikkema Fellow Award)

2010 – 2011 Artist-in-Residence, Studio Museum in Harlem

2010 Artist-in-Residence, Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY

2009 – 2010 Artist-in-Residence, Workspace, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

2009 – 2010 Visiting Artist, New York University

2009 HomeBase, New York

2008 LEAD Academy, Hamburg

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Artforum  : “Paul Mpagi Sepuya at DOCUMENT,” by Jared Quinton, March, 2018

New City Art : “Intimate Moves In A Dark Room, Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Document,” by Lee Ann Norman, April 19, 2018

Art in America : “In The Room,” by Ariel Goldberg, April, 2018

Art in America = : “We All Wear the Mask: New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art,” by Dan Allegretto, April, 2018

The Brooklyn Rail : “Being: New Photography,” by Philip Griffin, May 1, 2018

Cultured Magazine : “Five Questions with Paul Mpagi Sepuya”

The Wall Street Journal : “MoMA’s Human Focus,” by Richard B. Woodward, March 14, 2018

The New York Times : “What’s New in Photography? Humanism, MoMA Says,” by Arthur Lubow, March 9, 2018

The Nation : “Without Warning : Margins and the Mainstream at the New Museum’s ‘Trigger’,” by Barry Schwabsky, Jan 26, 2018

The New Museum : “Aesthetic Inhumanisms : Toward an Eroritcs of Otherworlding,” by Rizvana Bradley

Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles : “Paul Mpagi Sepuya at team (bungalow),” by Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi

AQNB : “The sinuous nature of desire + alternative ways of seeing with Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s photographic explorations of queer presence,” by Mark Pieterson, October 2017  

Monopol Magazine : “Zeigen und Verbergen,” artist portfolio and text by Boris Pofalla, October 2017

The New Yorker : “How Radical Can A Portrait Be?,” by Vinson Cunningham, May 5, 2017

The Nation : “Playing with Mirrors: Two artists push the limits of what cameras can do.,” by Barry Schwabsky, May 2, 2017

Modern Painters : “Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Yancey Richardson Gallery,” by Taylor Dafoe, March 2017

Artforum :  “Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” Critic’s Pick by Ian Bourland, March 2017

The Brooklyn Rail :  “Paul Mpagi Sepuya: Figures, Grounds and Studies,” by Phillip Griffith, March 1, 2017

Hyperallergic : “The Solitude and Sensuality of an Artist’s Studio,” by Zachary Small, February 20, 2017

The Creative Independent : “Paul Sepuya on finding your form,” by T. Cole Rachel, February 9, 2017

Hyperallergic : “Three Photographers and What They Show Us About Everyday Life: Deana Lawson, Judy Linn, Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” by John Yau, February 12, 2017

The New Yorker : “Goings On About Town: Deana Lawson, Judy Linn and Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” February 1, 2017

The Artists Institute :  “James Baldwin / Jim Brown and the Children,” by Hilton Als, 2016

Tiger Strikes Asteroid : “The Autonomous Limbs of Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” by Lindsay Garcia, 2016

San Francisco Art Quarterly : “From the Singular to the Indexical in Contemporary Portraiture,” by Courtney Malick, 2016

American Photo Magazine : “Enter the Private World of Photographers’ Studios,” by Eugene Reznik, August 13, 2015

The New Yorker : “Goings On About Town: A Room of One’s Own,” August 8, 2015

The New Yorker : “Goings On About Town: Spain & 42 St.,” January 6, 2015

Artnet News : “To Bushwick! Shows to See Right Now…,” by Andrew Russeth, October 30, 2014

The New York Times : “Brooklyn Inspires African Artists,” by Daniel Scheffler, October 14, 2014

The New Yorker : “Goings on About Town: The Thing Itself,” August 19, 2014

ArtReview Magazine : “The Expanded Photograph,” by David Everett Howe, May 2014

ARTFCITY : “Nuggets of Queerness: Year 3 of the Fire Island Artist Residency,” by Alex Fialho, August 29, 2013

Wayne Koestenbaum : My 1980s and Other Essays, Eric’s Stubble, 2013

Têtu Magazine :  “Petits Portraits Entre Amis,” by Bruce Benderson, March 2013

Artforum :  “500 Words: Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” by Joseph Akel, May 15, 2012

Flash Art International Magazine : “Review: Portraits, at I-20 Gallery,”  by Fabiana Lopes, October 2011

The Studio Museum in Harlem : “Evidence of Accumulation,” by AA Bronson and Lauren Haynes (catalogue), 2011

The New Yorker : “Goings On About Town: 50 Artists Photograph the Future,” June 10, 2010

The New York Times : “Art in Review – 50 Artists Photograph the Future,” by Holland Cotter, May 28, 2010

The New York Times : “In Books and Fine Arts, Filling the Down Time of New Year’s,” by Holland Cotter, December 31, 2009

The New York Times : “All the Books You’ll Never Catch on a Kindle,” by Holland Cotter, October 2, 2009

Revista Metal Magazine, “Paul Mpagi Sepuya: Natural Light Portrait,” by Pepo Moreno Forteza, April 15, 2009

The New York Times, “At a Clinic, Artists Reflecting on Home,” by Melena Ryzik, May 10, 2009

ArtCat :  “Paul Sepuya’s ‘Alexandria’ at envoy,” by Bosko Blagojevic, February 10, 2009

Interview Magazine :  “Jack Pierson interviews Paul Sepuya,” by Alex Gartenfeld, January 30, 2009

This.Hearts.On.Fire :  “Alexandria,” by Kenneth Courtney,  January 5, 2009

Printed Matter : “Queer Zines”, by AA Bronson, 2008 (catalogue)

The New York Times Style Magazine : “Fine Print: Beloved Object and Amorous Subject, Revisited,” by Armand Limnander, April 4, 2008

Il Terzo Occhio : “La fotografia americana,” by Umberto Mancini January 28, 2008

SLEEK Magazine : “Clean Sheets: Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” by Monte Packum, Autumn 2007

The New York Times : “Gay Art: A Movement, or at Least a Moment”, by Guy Trebay, May 6, 2007

BUTT Magazine, “BUTT BOOK,” bt Jop van Benekom, Jop and Gert Jonkers, 2006

LOGO New Now Next Blog : , “Art Zines Rule! Part One,” by John Polly, September 20, 2006

V Man Magazine, “Zine Scene,” by Paul Tierney, September 2006

“Thing: New Penis Art from America,” by Darren Klein, 2006

de:bug Magazine : “Designing Men- Shoot”, de:bug, by Aljoscha Weskott, July 2006

“Weniger ist mehr: Paul Sepuya besticht mit eindrucksvollen Portraits,” GAB-Frankfrut Magazin, April 2006, illus.

Instinct Magazine : “He SHOOTs, He Scores,” by David White, March 2006

Teaching Photo Magazine : “Slide Slam” by Allen Frame, February 2006

BUTT Magazine : “Boys,” issue 15 2006

BUTT Magazine : “Canadian Professor in New York gets hyper-realistic portrait taken by young photographer,” by Nick Boston, issue 14 2005

EYEMAZING Magazine : “Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” issue 08, 2005

 

PUBLIC TALKS, PANELS AND JURIES

2018 The New Museum, New York, NY. (screening and artist talk with A.K. Burns)

2017 KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY. (artist talk)

2017 Denison University, Granville, OH. (artist talk)

2017 Parsons The New School, New York, NY. (artist talk)

2017 Photo LA, Los Angeles, CA. (panel with Kelly Nipper, Marten Elder and Russell Ferguson)

2016 Analogue Dissident at South of Sunset, Los Angeles, CA. (artist talk)

2015 Document, Chicago, IL. With Megha Ralapati (artist talk)

2014 The Pitch Project, Milwaukee, WS. (artist talk)

2014 Latitude, Chicago, IL., With Elijah Burgher. (artist talk)

2014 Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL. (artist talk)

2013 School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. (visiting artist talk)

2013 Haverford College, Philadelphia, PA. (artist talk)

2013 “Black Male Revisited,” Danspace Project, New York, NY. With niv Acosta, Rich Blint, and Thomas Lax. (artist talk)

2013 Fire Island Artist Residency, Cherry Grove Arts Center, Fire Island, NY. With Laurel Sparks, Baker Overstreet and Grey Day. (artist talk)

2013 Artspeak, Vancouver (artist talk)

2012 Pride Photo Award, Amsterdam (juror)

2011 Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY. With Simone Leigh and Kamau Amu Patton. (artist talk)

2011 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (juror)

2010 Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY.

2011 New York Photo Fest (panelist)

2011 Rhode Island School of Design (visiting artist)

2009 Printed Matter Artist Grant (juror)

2006 “Slide Slam,” International Center for Photography, New York City. With Leigh Ledare and Phyllis Galembo. (artist talk)

 

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL.

The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA.

The Center for Photography at Woodstock Collection at SUNY New Paltz, NY.

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.

The Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland.

The JP Morgan Collection, New York, NY.

The Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, New York, NY.

The Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

The Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Desert, CA.

The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.