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At the present time this blog site is no longer being updated, please follow for announcements, updates, and snapshots.








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.

Studio snapshots, Hyde Park Art Center





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.

FT The Next Picture


Pick up the current issue of FT Magazine for an except of my ongoing project SOME RECENT PICTURES / a Journal.

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.

Eric’s Stubble.



Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Eric, at Wayne’s writing desk, January 25 (2012)

ERIC’S STUBBLE (excerpt).
By Wayne Koestenbaum
January 6, 2012

Originally published in STUDIO WORK (2012), currently in My 1980’s & Other Essays by Wayne Koestenbaum.

I live with Eric. No, I live with a photograph of Eric, taken by Paul Mpagi Sepuya, whose work is easy to love and difficult to theorize. I bought Eric’s image at Envoy Gallery in 2007 because I felt sexual desire for what the photograph seemed to represent. Eric has conspicuous stubble; his gray-green eyes refute the stubble or establish a dialectical relation with it. Eric’s eyebrows are thick, dark; his hairstyle — bangs? — recalls a Roman or Sicilian wall painting. His skin tone is pale, call it olive. His stubble is verdigris. Compared to the stubble, the skin retreats into pallor, hunger, vagueness. Eric is the type of guy I tend to classify as “Levantine,” which means, in my anachronistic imagination, a crypto-Jewish amalgam of Egyptian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, and a few other tinctures. We shouldn’t classify guys; typology is a cruel exercise. Paul’s photographs refuse to classify the men he captures. And yet the ghost of categorization (August Sander and his ilk) hovers over any photograph that isolates its human object.



Yann, the Waves
2013. C-print, 11×14 inches. Special edition of 20. $250 includes shipping

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!