The Photography Show by AIPAD 2019

PIER 94 | NEW YORK CITY | APRIL 3 - 7, 2019

For AIPAD 2019, De Soto Gallery will present two recent series of experimental cyanotype-based works by new artist, Ivan Forde. Utilizing a wide variety of photo-based and print-making processes, Forde retells stories using epic poetry as a narrative framework to create detailed vignettes where he casts himself as every character. His non-linear interpretations of time-worn tales open the possibility of new archetypes and alternative endings, connecting the personal to the universal.

In his brand-new body of work, Forde sets out to develop an epic origin story — his own. Returning to his native Guyana, South America where he was born and raised before immigrating to New York at the age of 10, Forde began to collect and chronicle the the lore of his homeland. The resulting body of work, Invocation (2018-2019), still in progress and being debuted at AIPAD for the first time, centers on the collective narratives passed down from the people of his Grandmother's village, Buxton — one of the first Afro-Guyanese settlements post-emancipation with a significant activist history that still endures today. Riffing on themes drawn from personal interviews with a network of villagers including his 94-year old great aunt, Forde performs an array of recounted experiences, occupying various roles to create grand tableaus. With a uniquely auto-ethnographic approach, he confronts the tension that arises between truth, memory, and poetic fiction.

Also on view, Illumination (2016-2018), based on the Epic of Gilgamesh, explores multiplicity and diversity using the body, specifically black bodies, as both material and subject. The painterly cyanotypes and halftone silkscreens recreate the hero’s journey with a modern sociopolitical subtext. As well, a special portfolio of prints from Forde’s earlier black-and-white series, Transformation (2012), will be available to view by request. It envisions scenes from the 17th century allegory "Paradise Lost” as surrealist self-portraits, showing the artist in various states of metamorphosis. 

Ivan Forde (b. 1990, Georgetown, Guyana) has been included in recent group exhibitions and performances at The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Whitney Museum of Art. He is the recipient of various prestigious awards including the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans and was a shortlisted finalist for the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. He has been has granted residencies at notable cultural centers like the Lower East Side Printshop and Dustin Yellin’s Pioneer Works. He received his MFA from Columbia University and has a BA in Classic Literature from SUNY Purchase College.