Experiencing Gaignard’s body of work is like watching a montage of films such as Imitation of Life, Gone with the Wind, Roots, Foxy Brown, Valley of the Dolls, and The Wiz. Like these polarizing, culturally specific American classics, she shocks and awes us with glitz, glam, pain, and violence, but in a nuanced way.
The reality of American history is that what’s nostalgic to one group of people is actually traumatic to another, so our good old American pie history isn’t as tasty as we once thought. That’s what Gaignard’s work so beautifully communicates.
“I feel strongly that Gaignard’s work is and will continue to be looked upon as a body of work that looks at race, takes all the pieces that make up how Blackness and Black people in this country have been cloaked in false assumptions, misperceptions, and tragedy, but then puts the pieces back together to create a perfect puzzle of Black excellence and joy,” Wall said.