December 1, 2020 - December 5, 2020
COOPER COLE is pleased to present a group exhibition of the work of Oreka James, Dodi King, Sylvia Limbana, and Eden Seifu for NADA Miami 2020. This presentation will be entirely online.
James, King, Limbana, and Seifu engage in the fantastical and folklorish in their paintings as a way of meditating on deeper truths. In their works, these artists take diverse and generative approaches to storytelling; fusing dreams, imagination, and spirituality with lived experience. All emerging artists, James, King, Limbana, and Seifu possess new, politically strong and aesthetically visionary voices that question the way the world is narrativized. More information about each artist follows.
James composes worlds that animate the crossing of realms, affirming what would be considered intangible, while visiting moments of love, spirituality and suggesting the metaphysical and the ephemeral. They consider the excavation of histories and futures of land and nomads as a means of wayfinding, sometimes transposing objects and symbols that hold esoteric knowledge and serve as placeholders to the unknown. Informed by oralities and folklore, she intimately recalls and reveals peoples, places and stories deeply rooted in their personal life and culture. The artist is committed/determined to finding connections between fabricated and literal scapes, believing animism to be the link to uncovering and understanding elusive societies.
King imagines their practice as the cultivation of a garden where the natural world, the emotional realm, spiritual symbols, and memories collectively probe existential mysteries and the occult. While prioritizing the playful imagination as a means of catharsis and mental stimulation, their threads humor, curiosity and unease with bold color usage, resulting in snapshots of self-implicated mystic scenes. King’s visual narratives can be attributed to her background in literary fiction.
Limbana’s paintings are reimagined old family photographs. Sourced from the artist’s own family, these images trace their lives as newly landed refugees in Canada. By creating critical reproductions in paint, the artist calls upon a difficult history while highlighting moments of joy. Limbana emphasizes the importance of each subject’s gaze, which stares back at the viewer asserting their own survival and visibility.
Seifu’s painterly world synthesizes fantasy, ancient spiritual practices, and the sublime. Taking a wide range of visual influences such as Italian altarpieces, pulp covers, and adventure anime, the artist embraces existential questions and facts surrounding life, journey, and death. Seifu draws attention to the contemporary dichotomy between desire and capitalism, shrewedly noting that the desires we are indexed around, in fact, destroy our home: the planet. Seifu looks to history to understand the present more deeply.
Oreka James (b. 1991, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has received their BFA in Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design University while studying Furniture Design. She has completed a group residency at the Art Gallery of Ontario and has shown at spaces such as Efrain Lopez Lopez Project Space, Chicago; Patel Brown Gallery, Toronto; Mercer Union, Toronto; Gallery 44, Toronto; and Margin of Eras Gallery, Toronto; James currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dodi King (b. 1999, Jacksonville, Florida, USA) is an artist and writer whose practice spans painting, assemblage and poetry. Their studies in astrology, scientific theory, botany and folklore establish the theoretical foundation for their practice. King constructs autobiographical narratives from traditional and personal mythologies utilizing twin iconography, allegory, and fairytale. Their compositions often consist of juxtaposed or mirrored figures and environments, alluding to multidimensionality and dualism. King’s work has been shown at Superposition Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Kunstraum LLC (Brooklyn, NY), and Aronson Gallery, Parsons School of Design (New York, NY). Their poetry has been published in Helen Literary Magazine and the Santa Clara Review. King lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Sylvia Limbana (b. 1995, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a self-taught artist who seeks to commemorate the dignity of displaced people through her art using themes of family and love. She has exhibited in Toronto at spaces such as Margin of Eras Gallery, Gallery 44 and The Loon, as well as the Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph. Limbana Lives and works in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
Eden Seifu (b. 1996, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) received a BA in Communication at the University of Washington, where she also studied Art History, in 2018. She has shown work at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle and has had paintings published in the University of Washington Bricolage Journal. Most recently she has shown work in the group show We Begin With Noticing (Deli Gallery, 2019) and her first solo exhibition The Seasons to be Spirited Away is Forever (Deli Gallery, 2020). Seifu lives and works in Seattle, Washington, USA.
For more information about the artists please contact the gallery:
The Fool, 2020
Oil on canvas
Aries (Psychic Knight)
Aries (Psychic Knight), 2020
Oil on canvas
Typhoon Lagoon, 2020
Oil on canvas
The Game, 2020
Oil on canvas