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R.k. Shuquem

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20140218080057-007

Birthplace
Los Angeles

Birth year
1971

Lives in
Los Angeles

Works in
Los Angeles

Website

Schools
CSU East Bay, 2004, BFA Studio Art

Tags
surrealism, conceptual, performance

Statement

I combine figurative and abstract imagery to mix the political and personal in nostalgic dream-like views of events with no specific time or place. I have had one-person exhibitions at SOIL Gallery, Seattle (2011), and NWC Gallery, Chicago (2012). I was awarded two CAAP grants from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; one in 2007 and one in 2009. I have been releasing music recordings with artwork in collaboration with record labels i.e. Alternative Tentacles, GSL, and Hungry Eye, for twenty years. After receiving my BFA in Painting and Bachelors in Graphic Design in 2004 from CSU East Bay, I ran an art gallery and a non-profit art studio for artists with developmental disabilities for several years in Chicago.

 

Using symbolism to comment on the human condition has always been important to my work. As part of my latest series I have been pulling from my earliest work as an artist and performer to connect to the source of my personal iconography.

 

I began my art career performing on two national tours with a traveling circus with dadaist leanings. These initial experiences were the basis for the characters and concepts I continue to use. In my latest series, in the interest of employing a conceptual framework to work from, I am creating pieces presented as documentation, promotional materials, sketches, and merchandise for a fictional traveling game show and gladiator spectacle that perpetually tours the prison industrial complex. In the tradition of science fiction, it is a dystopian fantasy that mirrors real life. Within this framework, I use symbolism to analyze human identities, relationships, and power structures. 

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