Florine Demosthene, Haitian
Florine Demosthene was born in the United States, raised between Port-au-Prince, Haiti and New York. She lives and works between New York, Accra and Johannesburg. Demosthene earned her BFA from Parsons the New School for Design and her MFA from Hunter College. She has shown extensively through group and solo exhibitions in USA, Caribbean, UK, Slovakia, Germany and Africa. She was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2011 and she was featured in the premiere issue of Arc (a magazine that is dedicated to highlighting emerging and established Caribbean artists). She’s a 2012 Keyholder resident at the Lower East Side Printshop in New York a Guest Artist for the 2014 Dakar Biennale and a participant in the first Kampala Art Biennale in Uganda.
Demosthene’s artwork examines how black culture is commodified and fetishised. Whether through paintings or drawings, she seeks to magnify the subtlety of racial constructs and how viewers have become comfortable with derogatory images. Her most recent work, ‘The Capture’, delves into the subconscious mind of a black heroine and the ephemeral quality of her thoughts and experiences. As she uncovers her special abilities, through a succession of serendipitous events, she comes to understand how these moments of self-realisation can be so very temporal. With this new series, she has been intrigued by the black female body as an icon in contemporary imagery and how her physical size is supposed to dictate a certain set of ideals and behavior. ‘The Capture’ is the initial phase to constructing a non-typical black female heroine persona.