Travis Somerville employs painting, sculpture and installation in his practice, which is politically and socially motivated. He works organically in the sense that he usually starts with a central image and lets the piece evolve from there by using found items and ephemera.
Travis Somerville (born 1963) grew up in towns throughout the southern United States and along the eastern seaboard. He briefly studied at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, finally settling in San Francisco where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute. His large-scale oil paintings and collages present images of political and cultural icons associated with the history of the south. His painting, drawings, sculpture and installations explore the complexities of racism and serve as a point of departure for discussion about US oppression and colonial attitudes abroad. Somerville’s work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally and has garnered critical praise in publications including Art in America, Artforum.com and San Francisco Magazine.
Events & Exhibitions
Residents from United States
Eunice Adorno Martínez
Eunice Adorno Martinez’s photographic documentary work focuses on the dynamics of migration, music, identity, youth, and traditions. She seeks conceptual and discursive routes for a visual poetry on migration and explores concepts such as trajectory and reunion. Her current project focuses on Mexican migration in neighborhoods of New York City, considering identity, tradition and festivities of Mexican youth. Martinez is exploring ways in which young people meet and interact with other generations, social groups and cultural norms.
Eunice Adorno Martinez lives and works in Mexico City and her photography has appeared in a wide range of publications, including national magazines and photography journals. She is the recipient of the 2010 Jovenes Creadores Grant Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes for her series Fraum Blam, and has an upcoming publishing project with Fabrica editorial de España.
Residents from Mexico
Astrit Ismaili’s practice is inspired by the urban landscape and sequences of urban life – human sadness, dreams and hyper-reality. For Ismaili, art is subject and object at the same time. The images of the body that Ismaili experiments with suggest a diffuse intimacy, while tending to dissuade a voyeuristic approach. Unlike most images we are faced with on a daily basis – images that treat the body like a commodity to be used and consumed, or an icon to adore at safe distance – Ismaili employs his body to initiate a dialog with himself. He places his body in familiar settings, though at the limits of our experience, presenting it as a symbol of receptivity, a meeting place between himself and the rest of the world, a communicative model in which information about his experience is presented and reflected upon. The portraits are stage-managed, with clothing, make-up, mise-en-scène and settings carefully conceived, resulting in highly sophisticated pictorial compositions. He uses his own body as a model to investigate his own vision and not the other’s vision of his body. Ismaili projects images and symbols, hopes and fears onto the male body. He uses it like a gesticulative vector not fully known to him, communicating to the viewer the novelty of his encounter.
Astrit Ismaili (born 1991 in Prishtina) is studying Theatre Directing at the Kosovan Art Academy. Recent solo shows include Artist of Tomorrow, The Kosova Art Gallery Prishtina, 2011; New Tear, Asma Sanat Gallery, Istanbul, 2011; Face the Reflection, KC Grad, Belgrade, 2011; Face the Reflection, Tetris, Prishtina, 2011; Right Turn, Turn Right, Traffic Gallery, Prishtina, 2010; Perspektiva 2010, Tetris, Prishtina; and B-Negative, The National Museum of Kosova, Prishtina, 2007.