Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Born 1982
Hometown San Bernardino, CA
Lives and Works Los Angeles, CA
Education
MFA, Photography, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 2016 (pending)
BFA, Photography & Imaging, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, New York, NY, 2004

Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY

Brooklyn Museum Library, New York, NY

Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY

Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland

Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s color photographs demonstrate his active engagement with the history and process of portraiture, as well as his experiments with framing, cropping, and editing. Sepuya portrays young men in his community, making visible the relationships and intimacy between himself and his subjects. By inviting his subjects into his studio space, Sepuya adds his presence to the photographs, even from behind the camera. His naturalistic photographs capture friends, male nudes, and life in the studio. Sepuya’s images make viewers feel as if they intimately know his subjects, and provide an honest look at his process, especially his interest in the relationship between archives and photography. In his portraits, the subjects’ comfortable eye contact and postures demonstrate the deeply personal intrigue that the artist himself experiences and can generate in viewers. Often Sepuya arranges and re-photographs his prints, collaging two-dimensional works with the objects and people around him. This gesture depicts the artist’s studio as a site where life and art intersect.


He has had solo exhibitions at DOCUMENT in Chicago, Platform Centre for Photography in Winnipeg, Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College in Memphis, and Artspeak in Vancouver. His work has been included in group exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis.


Courtesy of the Studio Museum in Harlem

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