Tag Archives: Paul Mpagi Sepuya


The subjects in [my] early portraits were friends or acquaintances I was just getting to know, some of whom would become good friends, some with whom I would eventually lose touch. Some I have reconnected with. It was important in deciding to make portraits that they be of people with whom I desired friendship, platonic or romantic relationships. It was also a conscious decision that, regardless of the nature of our connection, the photographs would depict them as if they were, could be, or had been a lover. I wanted that kind of desire to be the foundation, to go all the way and then negotiate back.Paul Mpagi Sepuya*

PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA—the artist’s first institutional monograph—is out now. Co-published by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Aperture, the book surveys Sepuya’s various photographic series over the last ten years, and features essays by Malik Gaines, Lucy Gallun, Ariel Goldberg, Lisa Melandri, Evan Moffitt, and Grace Wales Bonner, with an artist interview by curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi.

For a discussion presented by Printed Matter in anticipation of its forthcoming virtual book fair, Sepuya will join Al-Khudhairi in conversation. See link below to register for this online event.


Printed Matter

Monday, December 14.

5 pm on the West Coast; 8 pm East Coast.

*“Interview with Paul Mpagi Sepuya by Wassan Al-Khudhairi,” in PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA (St. Louis: Contemporary Art Museum; New York: Aperture, 2020).

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 17, 2019–August 18, 2019; Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, October 19, 2019–March 14, 2020. Organized by Wassan Al-Khudhaiti, chief curator, with Misa Jeffereis, assistant curator.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, from top: Darkroom Mirror (_2070386), 2017; Self Portrait Holding Joshua’s Hand, 2006; A Portrait (0X5A6109), 2017; Mirror Study (4R2A0857), 2016; Studio Wall (_1000021), 2018; A Portrait (File0085), 2015 [Evan Moffitt]; Paul Mpagi Sepuya exhibition catalog cover courtesy and © Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Aperture, image—Darkroom Mirror (_2060999), 2017 (detail)—© the artist; Paul Mpagi Sepuya, The Conditions, Team Gallery, New York, installation view—Sepuya’s Model Study (0X5A3973), 2017 at left—photograph by Jason Mandella, image courtesy the artist and Team Gallery; A Portrait (0X5A8325), 2018; Orifice (0X5A6982), 2018; Aperture (_2140020), 2018. Images © Paul Mpagi Sepuya, courtesy of the artist.


This weekend, Participant Inc and Human Resources present Context-Con, the online book launch of Alexandro Segade’s graphic novel THE CONTEXT.

Interpreting THE CONTEXT’s superheroes, special guests at the launch include Ei Arakawa, Jennifer Doyle, Jonah Groeneboer, Mary Kelly, Jennifer Moon, Tavia Nyong’o, and David Velasco.

The event will close with a conversation with Segade and andré carrington and live drawing with graphic novelist Luciano Vecchio. See link below to register.


Sunday, August 2.

4 pm on the West Coast; 7 pm East Coast.

See Alexandro Segade, “A Maricón Beauty,” Artforum, October 2018.

From top: Alexandro Segade in San Francisco in 2010, courtesy of SFMOMA; Segade, The Context (2020), courtesy the artist and Primary Information; Context-Con graphic; Malik Gaines (left) and Segade, photograph by Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Images courtesy and © the artists, photographers, and publishers.


In conjunction with their online Peter Hujar exhibition CRUISING UTOPIA, Pace will convene a virtual panel discussion moderated by  Oliver Shultz.

Panelists include Nayland Blake,  Every Ocean Hughes (Emily Roysdon), Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, and Stephen Koch, a close friend of Hujar’s and the director of his archive.

See link below for details.


Wednesday, July 15.

10 am on the West Coast; 1 pm East Coast.

Peter Hujar, Cruising Utopia, Pace, June 30, 2020–July 28, 2020, from top: Christopher Street Pier #5, 1976, vintage gelatin silver print; John Giorno, Jim Carroll, Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and Jayne Cortez, circa 1982, vintage gelatin silver print; Fran Lebowitz [at Home in Morristown], 1974, vintage gelatin silver print; Richie, 1985, vintage gelatin silver print; John Heys in Lana Turner’s Gown (III), 1979, vintage gelatin silver print; Paul Thek Masturbating, 1967, pigmented ink print; Two Cockettes, 1971, vintage gelatin silver print; Greer Lankton in a Fashion Pose (I), 1983, vintage gelatin silver print; Christopher Street Pier #2 (Crossed Legs), 1976, pigmented ink print; Christopher Street Pier #4, 1976, vintage gelatin silver print; Hudson River (III), 1976, pigmented ink print. Images courtesy and © The Peter Hujar Archive and Pace Gallery.


Donate at least $250 to an advocacy organization and receive a print of Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s Studio (0X5A4983).

It’s about receipts really. I’m not alone amongst Black artists who want to see the receipts from non-Black curators, gallerists, museum directors who put up public-facing language in exhibitions about representation, justice, inclusion, diversity, whatever those words mean. I want to see receipts from non-Black collectors to know their interests in Black bodies aren’t salacious and that they are putting their money to defending Black lives. — Paul Mpagi Sepuya

To receive the print, send a confirmation of your donation to to solidarity@paulsepuya.com.

Document gallery in Chicago is covering the printing and shipping costs, and Vielmetter Los Angeles is providing administration support. Organizations include:

Alliance of Californians for Community Development

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles

National Bail Out


Fair Fight

Black Trans Advocacy Coalition


Minnesota Freedom Fund

Top: Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Studio (0X5A4983). Below: Paul Mpagi Sepuya self-portrait, 2012. Images courtesy and © the artist.


Christina Quarles makes expressive, gestural works that reference the history and techniques of painting, but also smartly test its limits. Her dynamic compositions often feature feminine tropes that reference domestic space—fabrics, patterns—alongside polymorphous and ambiguous figures arranged in contorted positions. Playing with the identity of the figure to expand the potential for representation in her work, Quarles explores the genre of figurative art as it has been captured in THE FOUNDATION OF THE MUSEUM—MOCA’S COLLECTION by Paul Mpagi Sepuya.*


Thursday, January 9, at 7 pm.

Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

152 North Central Avenue, downtown Los Angeles.

Christina Quarles, from top: Plaid About Yew, acrylic on canvas, 2018; Quarles, photograph by Daniel Dorsa; E’reything (Will Be All Right) Everything, acrylic on canvas, 2018; Slipped, Right to tha Side, acrylic on canvas, 2018. Images courtesy and © the artist, the photographers, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Pilar Corrias, London.