On view: See images from ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, inspired by the expressive nature of jazz, the exhibition explores identity and social constructions at London’s NOW Gallery

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On View features images from notable exhibits

THE RECIPIENT OF THE NOW Gallery’s 2022 Young Artist Commission, Joy Yamusangie stages an immersive solo show, considering the London gallery as a jazz club. Following collaborations with Gucci, Paul Smith, Penguin Books and Nike, the Congolese-British artist sought to realize his own singular vision. The practice of amusangie is strongly autobiographical, centering on questions of identity, community and representation. The artist explores these themes through illustration-style images that combine black line art with fields of bright colors, primarily red, yellow, and blue. Many works in the exhibition are self-portraits.

In the studio, music is a constant, dictating the pace and pace of Yamusangie’s creativity. The music also inspired the title of the exhibition, which is borrowed from an iconic Nina Simone song (“Feeling Good”, 1965) about living your truth.

In December, Yamusangie described to British Vogue what it would be like to enter the world of their works. “I imagine it’s blue spotlights. Most of the room is dimly lit. Lots of people dressed fancifully, with elaborate hairstyles and braiding, lots of expression through clothing in terms of gender identity. There are no rules or boundaries,” the artist said. “I guess it’s just a place where I can be comfortable. I imagine it’s fun. A few months later, Yamusangie brought that vision to life with “Feeling Good.” CT

“Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good” at the NOW Gallery in London, UK, from March 24 to June 5, 2022

LEARN MORE about the exhibition


Installation view (interior) of ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, NOW Gallery, London, UK (24 March-5 June 2022). | Courtesy of NOW Gallery


Installation view (exterior) of ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, NOW Gallery, London, UK (24 March-5 June 2022). | Courtesy of NOW Gallery


Joy Yamusangie photographed at the NOW Gallery: “This imaginary club has become a vision for me, a space that symbolizes gender euphoria and speaks specifically to my own experience of understanding and celebrating my trans identity and my journey in gender. learning music.” | Photo © Charles Emerson


Joy Yamusangie shares her vision of the Feeling Good Jazz Club, a space imagined by the artist to house her exhibition. | Video of NOW Gallery


Installation view of ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, NOW Gallery, London, UK (24 March-5 June 2022). | Courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “Double Blues Bass”, 2021 (open edition, giclée print, German Hahnemuhle etching, 36.5 cm w x 30 cm h). | © Joy Yamusangie, courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, keep your heart – your new shoes. | © Joy Yamusangie, courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “Missed Your Chance”, 2021 (acrylic, oil bars, pen and pencil on canvas, 152 cm w x 91 cm h). | © Joy Yamusangie, courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “A Little Misunderstanding”, 2021 (acrylic, oil bars, pen and pencil on canvas, 44.2 cm w x 38.2 cm h, framed). | © Joy Yamusangie, NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “The Show Is Over,” (acrylic, oil bars, pastels and pen on fabric, 150 cm w x 105 cm h). | © Joy Yamusangie, courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “Feeling Good”, 2022 (acrylic, pastels and pencil on fabric, 100 cm w x 150 cm h). | © Joy Yamusangie, NOW Gallery


Installation view of ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, NOW Gallery, London, UK (24 March-5 June 2022). | Courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “Sape”, 2022 (acrylic, pastels and pencil on fabric, 150 cm w x 105 cm h). | © Joy Yamusangie, NOW Gallery


Installation view of ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, NOW Gallery, London, UK (24 March-5 June 2022). | Courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “The bartender”. 2022 (acrylic, oil, pastels and pen on fabric, 93 cm w x 150 cm h). | © Joy Yamusangie, NOW Gallery


Installation view of ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, NOW Gallery, London, UK (24 March-5 June 2022). | Courtesy of NOW Gallery


Installation view of ‘Joy Yamusangie: Feeling Good’, NOW Gallery, London, UK (24 March-5 June 2022). | Courtesy of NOW Gallery


JOY YAMUSANGIE, “Smoking Area 2”, 2021 (acrylic, pencil and pen on paper, 45.8 cm w x 34 cm h, framed). | © Joy Yamusangie, courtesy of NOW Gallery

LEARN MORE about Joy Yamusangie on their website and Instagram

BOOKSHELF
Joy Yamusangie’s exhibition concept was inspired by “Trumpet: A Novel,” which fictionalized the life of jazz trumpeter Billy Tipton (1914-1989). For most of his adult life, Tipton lived like a man. It was only after his death that his friends and family learned that he was transgender. Yamusangie created the cover for the 2021 paperback edition of CLR James’ novel “Minty Alley: Black Britain: Writing Back”.

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