Block title

Work Samples

Exchange Place

Exchange Place, Collage, 12x9 in., 2020

Untitled

Untitled, Collage, 13x9 in., 2020

Cornrows

Cornrows, Collage, 13x9 in., 2020

What Do You Have to Lose?

What Do You Have to Lose?, Collage, 24x20 in., 2020

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About Bria

Baltimore County

Bria Sterling-Wilson's picture
Bria Sterling-Wilson is a photographer and collage artist from Baltimore, Maryland. She is currently attending Towson University for her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Digital Arts. Bria is profound in expressing the beauty and complexities of the African American community.

Issue No. 1 Solo Exhibition

Full Circle Gallery presents Issue No. 1, a solo exhibition featuring collage works by Bria Sterling-Wilson. Sterling-Wilson pieces together the complex interpersonal narrative of the Black American experience.

Gleaned from fashion magazines, newspapers, and even torn fabric, Sterling-Wilson recomposes images of bodies, forms, textures and visual tropes into evocative representations that investigate race and identity. In reinventing fashion-magazine compositions with fractured body parts, braided hair, mammy imagery, crowns, and protest imagery, Sterling-Wilson draws attention to and questions these stereotypes and their validity or disfiguration. The reconfigurations highlight the complicated relationship Blacks have to the media and the imposed, complex notions of status, beauty and politics. Through the art of collage, multiple ideas are drawn together and realized in a single figure, echoing the freneticism and reality of life in the twenty-first century. Many of these images offer a critical look at media, society, and how brown and black women are portrayed as hyper-sexualized fragments of womanhood.

At first, viewers are drawn in by the collages’ visual beauty, but scrutiny is rewarded as the images help viewers recognize the irony, humor, and seriousness of the subject. Sterling-Wilson’s work synthesizes multiple voices and literal perspectives through appropriation re-use, through which she calls out the challenges of living in America while Black. Though subtle, she directly engages issues of police violence, Black oppression, inequity, discrimination, and the longings of African-Americans and other disenfranchised people of color who once again are at the forefront of the collective American consciousness in 2020.  

Additional Issue No. 1 Exhibition Collages

Presented are additional close up and detailed images of my collages from my exhibition, Issue No. 1. 

Artist Statement: 
For the past two years I have explored the use of collage in my photography practice. Through the utilization of magazine clippings, newspaper, and fabric I have recontextualized these found materials to confront how African American women are represented and perceived. In these works, I present portraits of women as the main subject. These women are then juxtaposed with different hair, facial features, body parts, and clothes. My collages question the idealized standards of beauty placed upon women of color. Moreover, they delve into the conversation of cultural appropriation, race, stereotypes, and identity. In addition to confronting the oppressive nature and historical narratives associated with the African American community, I also call attention to black joy and unity.
Furthermore, I have begun to investigate the struggles of African American males as well.  Due to the recent death of George Floyd and the outcry of much needed change around the world in regard to police brutality and racism, I began building more upon this continuous series. The collection of collages contrasts with the style of my previous work; however, the same contextual ideals of racial inequality are present. I am addressing the ignorance and silence of the non- black and brown community, history repeating itself, and the struggle of being a person of color in America.

Bria 's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.