Pittsburgh

Devan Shimoyama, Sudden Darkness, Sudden Flight (Paradise Watcher), 2016, acrylic, oil, colored pencil, beads, glitter, and feathers on canvas, 62 × 42".

Devan Shimoyama, Sudden Darkness, Sudden Flight (Paradise Watcher), 2016, acrylic, oil, colored pencil, beads, glitter, and feathers on canvas, 62 × 42".

Devan Shimoyama

The Andy Warhol Museum

Devan Shimoyama is fast becoming recognized for his luminous, bejeweled imaginings of queer black men in overgrown, moonlit forests or within the convivial locales of barbershops. In “Cry, Baby,” his first solo museum exhibition, the artist has set out to reckon with the latter social space as a “more realistic” setting for black masculinity while positioning sylvan swaths of land as mythic counterpoints. What resonates, however, are the moments that cradle and peel back that division, poetically articulating how the two climes are bound up in the black radical tradition—and imagination. In a word, Shimoyama is invested in what historian Robin D. G. Kelley calls “freedom dreaming.”

 The reverie began on opening night—the late hour fittingly parallel to that of Shimoyama’s nighttime self-portraiture—with a performance that started in the foyer of the Andy Warhol Museum and was led by the

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