Public Matter

Library Street Collective’s 2024-2025 iteration of Public Matter is curated by Allison Glenn and features the work of artist Genevieve Gaignard. Gaignard’s photography and collage-based practices reference pop-culture, art history, and the artist’s personal experiences as a biracial Black woman. The selection of self-portraits on view are from different series, where the artist has manipulated her clothing, make-up, and hair to present versions of herself that undermine, question, and poke fun at beauty standards, social hierarchies, and, at times, phenotypic assumptions of race. With Compton Contrapposto, for example, we see Gaignard’s character donning a blonde afro, standing in front of a green Cadillac Deville. The character’s contrapposto–or counter pose–was invented in the early 5th century by the Greeks, often used in large figurative sculpture and paintings. Created in front of a Deville in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles, the birthplace of notable rappers Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Ice Cube, the title’s clever alliteration points to a bricolage of influences underscored by Gaignard’s intersectional identity.

Selected Works

Genevieve Gaignard

Genevieve Gaignard

Rita and Frida, 2018
Courtesy of the Artist and VIELMETTER Los Angeles.

Genevieve Gaignard

Genevieve Gaignard

Hidden Fences, 2017
Courtesy of the Artist and VIELMETTER Los Angeles.