Jamaal Peterman

Greenbelt, MD

October 16th - November 15th

Born in Florida and raised in MD, Jamaal Peterman is a New York-based visual artist. He holds a BFA from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (2014) and an MFA from Pratt Institute (2019). He had his first solo exhibition at Artist Proof gallery in Washington DC, Georgetown (2018). He was awarded Smack Mellon’s 2019 Hot Pick, UICJurieded Exhibition Finalist for Breaching the Margins exhibition (2019 ) and New American Painting MFA and South Annual (2019) Issue. He is a (2019) recipient of Mass MoCA residency and Wassaic Project residency and Sugar Hill Program (2019) recipient.

Artist Statement

Through color, symbols, geometry, and spaces he questions the tangibility of access in relation to young Black males and other bodies alike. His paintings and installations highlight the separation of classes reinforced by commodities and wealth. By exploring the proximity of Black bodies throughout western history there is a misrepresentation through stereotypes he aims to deconstruct and neutralize. This is a reference to neutralizing harmful stigmas placed upon the lives that are affected by urbanity. The paintings visually break down the layers of code and conduct governing the mental state of African Americans living in urban environments. The flatly painted synthesized shapes form an abstract space that shapes the landscape literally and metaphorically. 

Through techniques formed by post-war geometric artist, he breaks down elements of social hierarchy within these synthetic spaces. Allowing the views to purely look at forms that govern the space and the identity that shapes the composition. He uses the geometric style to convey “ absolute reality” and the colors as a way to access the space designated for certain social classes. His symbols are designed to aid in marking time, history, and spaces that black bodies navigated and constructed new forms of identity. The framed structures along with the figures repairing and disappearing represent a temporal fractured moment of space. These elements break down how volatile it is to be a black body on display in relation to America’s brutal history on the mental traumas placed on the black physique.

I'm inspired by my landscape and how we move from one location to another platform. I'm always thinking about what is the next phase of cultural existence in American. How can we preserve history and how we continue to create a visual platform for a future utopia. I'm also interested in exploring the new term Post-Black Surrealism and how it's shaped within a larger narrative of the world in a historical context.

I hope that my work gives the viewers an access point for interest in complex narratives that breaks down cultural differences but also areas of similarities. Regardless of what social class or background you come from my work aids in helping people construct relations of value and self-worth. This helps the viewer understand a historical dialogue of culturally significant that forms through a series of progression, geography, and symbolism.

Artist Links

Website: www.jamaalpeterman.com