Sadie Barnette, ‘Untitled (Blue Shahine)’, 2016, Headlands Center for the Arts: Benefit Auction 2018

In this piece Barnette explores the personal and political as she uses personal photographs collaged over what she calls glitter planes or glitter spaces. Barnette conceives of the glitter space as an imaginary space. She says, “what exists beyond state surveillance, what is this liberated space that everyone is fighting for, I’m not really sure what that looks like but these glitter spaces project an idea of what that future might look like”. By immersing her loved ones into these glittery spaces of optimism and liberation, she symbolically frees them from the social constraints that have held them.

Sadie Barnette recently completed a year as an artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem. She has shown her work in venues including Charlie James Gallery, The Mistake Room, Self Help Graphics, and Papillion, Los Angeles; Ever Gold Projects, San Francisco; The Studio Museum, Harlem; and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa. She has been commissioned to create public works including projects for UC San Diego’s Thurgood Marshall College and New York’s WNYC public radio station. Barnette has been featured in The New York Times, SFAQ (San Francisco Arts Quarterly), The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Artnet News, and Artforum, among others. Her work is in the permanent collections of museums such as The Pérez Art Museum, Miami; the California African American Museum; and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Barnette received her BFA from California Institute of the Arts and her MFA from UC San Diego. She is from Oakland, California.

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles

About Sadie Barnette

Utilizing a range of materials and media, from Polaroids to glitter to spray paint, Sadie Barnette isolates individuals and events, removing all context to create uncanny remembrances of ordinary life. The partial intimacy of Barnette’s photography and collages read like the private memory of an unknown stranger, scrubbed of context and yet unmistakably personal. Previous projects incorporated a 500-page FBI dossier on Barnette’s father, who was closely surveilled by the FBI due to his involvement in the Black Panther Party, which viewers are challenged to understand through the lens of the relationship between a young girl and her father. Throughout her multidisciplinary practice, Barnette commands the dreamlike quality of her work with subtlety and confidence.

American, b. 1984, Oakland, CA, United States, based in Los Angeles, California

Group Shows

The FLAG Art Foundation, 
New York, USA,
Cynthia Daignault: There is Nothing I could Say That I Haven't Thought Before