Nathaniel Mary Quinn, ‘The Comedian’, 2017, Richard Beavers Gallery

"There is a comedian, black woman, from Chicago, whom I met through a former girlfriend, who made a major impact on my life not only because she was funny but because she was brazenly honest. She spoke openly about hosting successful comedy shows, eating at fancy restaurants, and signing autographs of the rich, only to return home to a somewhat dilapidated apartment accompanied with unpaid bills. "The Comedian" hinges on an aspect of human identity where performance and audience are merging forces: one aims to be pure, the other aims to be inspired. - Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Signature: Front

Publisher: Brooklyn Museum

About Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Drawing from a difficult upbringing spent in an impoverished public housing project in Chicago, with a broken family, Nathaniel Mary Quinn makes large-scale, mixed-media drawings and paintings of collaged and fragmented figures, through which he demonstrates that we are all the sum of our experiences. In his words, “I hope to convey a sense of how our experiences, both good and bad, operate to construct our identities. I also want to portray a mutual relationship between the acceptable and the unacceptable, the grotesque and what is aesthetically pleasing.” Formed from an amalgam of family photographs, images from articles and advertisements, and his own furious brushstrokes and charcoal marks, the men and women who populate his compositions appear as hybrids, at once monstrous and delicate. For Quinn, they are portraits of his fractured family, and images of our multi-faceted selves.

American, b. 1977, Chicago, Illinois, based in Brooklyn, New York