Student gazing at paintings hanging in the art gallery

Ceaphas Stubbs: SO CLOSE

This exhibition was on view February 11–March 26, 2022

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Ceaphas Stubbs

Ceaphas Stubbs’ solo exhibition, “SO CLOSE,” opens with an in-person opening reception on Friday, February 11 from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. The exhibit will remain on view through Saturday, March 26. The gallery is located at 41 Park Row with the entrance on Spruce Street, across from City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

In the works featured in “SO CLOSE,” Stubbs innovatively marries analog and digital photographic techniques with collage and sculpture to produce imagery that is simultaneously intimate, nostalgic, and Afrofuturistic. His vividly colored, often spatially indeterminate, photographs navigate the innate tension between intimacy and pain, and unpack loss by giving visual language to the persistent tingling, itching, burning, and aching that accompany wanting another person. In Stubbs’ figurative abstraction, the viewer catches elusive glimpses of, but never the whole, a body (or bodies) as it emanates (or explodes) out of the picture plane. This never quite knowing of the other is at the core of Stubbs’ work which plumbs the universal feeling of longing—both initial desire’s anticipation and despair after separation.

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Art piece by Ceaphas Stubbs
Ceaphas Stubbs
...Who Really Controls the Strings...
2018
Latex inkjet print
46 x 66 inches (framed)

Stubbs says his multi-step process “starts by collecting materials, textiles, and found images. I am drawn to materials that are overlooked, discarded, and ordinary.” He then creates deconstructed three-dimensional sculptural collages out of these found materials which include fabric scraps, other people’s photos, screen shots of porn, and wire from the studio floor—thereby unifying disparate imagery and simultaneously illustrating its’ disconnectedness which mirrors the cycle of desire and loss. In the final stage, Stubbs documents his sculptures using commercial table top photography techniques culminating in lush large-scale digital prints which both highlight the glossy façade attractiveness and creates separation from the object (of desire). Stubbs’ laborious method is a performance of sorts in which he goes through the process of searching, seeing, and knowing intimately as he builds and documents his tableaux before ultimately losing the object of his attention when he takes it apart leaving only with the photographic remnant.

About the artist

Ceaphas Stubbs has shown his work widely, including in exhibitions at FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn; The Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, New York; Reginald Ingraham Gallery, Culver City; Czong Institute for Contemporary Art Museum, Gimpo-si; Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark; The Print Center, Philadelphia; and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. His works have been reviewed in The New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Skowhegan's SPACE/LAUNCH, Expose Magazine, and Agave Magazine. He has also done residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, The Creative Capital Professional Development Program, and Express Newark. Stubbs has taught a range of digital arts, photography, and animation college courses across the East Coast, and is currently a tenure-track professor at Brookdale College in NJ. He has a BA in Visual Arts from Rutgers and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania where he was the recipient of a Christopher Lyon Memorial Award.

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Art piece by Ceaphas Stubbs
Ceaphas Stubbs
….What Causes it to Rush Back…
2019
Archival Latex print
30”x42” (framed)