Photo Courtesy of CJ Benninger

Kaleigh Blevins (b. Detroit, 2000) is an artist living and working in Detroit, whose work examines the way Black identity is shaped in America, and the effects of this experience. In her work, familiar images are distorted to illustrate the state of uncertainty and isolation many Black people exist in. She recently received her BFA in Painting from Wayne State University. Her work has been exhibited across Metro Detroit and in New American Paintings magazine.
My work explores uncertainty and Black subjectivity. Loneliness, voyeurism, and self-image are themes I explore often. The subjects of my paintings appear as fully realized figures existing in skewed, empty, and sometimes concealed environments to reflect an incompatibility between Black people and the world around them. These settings, often domestic spaces, are carefully staged to appear sterile and artificially intimate. My paintings include common symbols and images to create a sense of familiarity that is twisted when they are represented outside of their original context. Through references to art history, mythology, and TV and film, I reflect on the exchange that happens between people and their environments to construct collective and individual identities. I mix my personal history with general shared experiences to create images that feel like false memories. This recontextualization is done to examine Black contemporary aspirations as they conflict with unspoken standards set in place.
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