November 15, 2021
Inside The Artsy Vanguard 2021
Join us on Wednesday, December 8th from 9–10 a.m. (EST) / 2–3 p.m. (GMT) for a virtual panel discussion with emerging artists Alia Ali, Tariku Shiferaw, and Bony Ramirez, all featured in The Artsy Vanguard 2021.
In our conversation, hear about each artist’s practice and journey—plus insights from Artsy’s Associate Director of Content, Casey Lesser, around what went into creating this year’s edition of The Artsy Vanguard.
Conversation moderated by Artsy’s Senior Manager of Social, Jordan Huelskamp.
About Artsy Vanguard
The Artsy Vanguard is a prestigious annual list, spotlighting the most promising emerging artists practicing today who are the next big names in art. This year’s edition focuses on a tightly curated selection of 20 early-stage international artists making exceptional work and shaping the future of art, selected from a list of over 1,400 artists nominated by industry tastemakers, collectors, and art enthusiasts alike. These artists are also in the midst of gaining representation with prominent galleries and showing their work internationally at galleries, museums, and biennials.
About the Panel
Photographer Alia Ali depicts her subjects in vividly patterned traditional ikat textiles to reveal layered global histories of colonialism, migration, imperialism, and war. Her striking studio portraits conceal the identities of subjects entirely covered by these fabrics. The artist’s peripatetic life, which has brought her to more than 67 countries, informs her interest in excavating and tracing the complex provenance of global textile techniques like indigo- and wax-resistant dyeing. Her series “FLUX” (2019–21), which considers the identity politics and colonial histories of wax-print textiles, has been widely exhibited, including in a 2020 solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. While the visual appeal of her richly colored, enigmatic images registers immediately, Ali applies a rigorous research-based approach to every series. Her works, which present cultural exchanges and thefts across time, are in the collections of institutions including the British Museum, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Tucson Museum of Art.
Bony Ramirez was born in 1996 in Tenares, Salcedo, Dominican Republic. He currently lives and works in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Born in a small town in the Dominican Republic, Bony Ramirez retains a connection to his Dominican heritage through his art, incorporating elements of the Caribbean with his own distinctive details. Through a combination of painting and drawing, Ramirez adheres life-size paper figures onto painted wood panels. His subjects are bold yet strange, often appearing mysteriously oversized or contorted. Bony Ramirez adheres black and brown drawn figures onto painted wood panels, creating mixed medium portraits that portray contemporary Caribbean life and the underlying European colonialist history that remains in the psyche of individuals. Bony’s expanded practice of incorporating new materials into his portraits, namely wallpaper, swords, and rhinestones, to bring physical and allegorical depth to the stories he tells about Caribbean history and daily life. Ramirez’s practice is heavily influenced by Mannerist and Renaissance portraiture as seen through the presence of still lives, solid-colored backgrounds, and romanticized gore. The artist’s use of these European styles reflects the colonialist influence on the Caribbean, reclaiming these artistic tropes by re-contextualizing them with Caribbean objects, scenery, and history.
Tariku Shiferaw is a New York-based artist who works in painting and installation art. He was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Shiferaw explores mark-making addressing the physical and metaphysical spaces of art and social structures. In his ongoing series “One of These Black Boys,” he uses song titles by musicians from the African diaspora to title each work – ranging from Hip-hop to R&B, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, and Afrobeats. In using such titles, his works present other reference points outside of Western art canon.