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.