Artist Dominique Hunter: “When you look beneath the surface … what is really happening here?”

The Expressions team ran across Dominique Hunter, a multi-disciplinary visual artist in Guyana — that’s in South America, for those who might be wondering — last fall and we were immediately taken with her works.

She told us at the outset, “My works often critique the (mis/non)-representation of Black female bodies in art — both imagery and historical text — as well as the stereotypical portrayals of those bodies in contemporary media.”

Her works have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Miami as well as in several prestigious collections, including Guyana’s National Collection. She earned her BFA in 2015 and received the Leslie’s Legacy Foundation Award for Most Outstanding Work.

Dominique Hunter: “There’s something very unsettling when you peel back the layers.”

But there was something just below the surface that she revealed during the Artists Spotlight interview we conducted with her.

When she started out as a female artist from the Caribbean, there was an expectation that you would go off and paint pretty pictures of waterwalls and other stereotypical representations of the space, she said. “But I’ve always felt like this space should be expanded to include people who don’t necessarily want to produce those kinds of work.”

So she made several intentional decisions to cut against the grain — for example, by producing work that was devoid of color. “That generated a lot of pushback. And my thinking began to shift. What is it that I’m trying to say with my work?” she asked.

Five works in the “Look out” set, part of Dominique’s “Fixed Horizon” series for “Origins & Ancestries.”

And now she’s creating for a certain kind of art lover. “There’s been a complete shift. My work has color now has a lot of color. But … there’s this kind of undercurrent where you can kind of tell that there’s something very unsettling when you kind of peel back the layers and you start to examine it a bit closer. There’s still something about the work that makes you a little, you know, uneasy, and that’s very intentional. So I use those techniques to kind of draw the viewer in and make them question things like on the surface it looks really interesting and gritty and you have all these colors, but what is really happening here?”

That sensibility, she thinks, makes her debut NFT series “Fixed Horizon” a good fit for the crypto crowd, a more discerning and sophisticated group of art admirers who can look at a work from multiple dimensions.

Check out her 101 works in the “Origins & Ancestries” art drop on Expressions, scheduled to debut May 11, 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *