On View presents images from noteworthy exhibitions
 

THE RECIPIENT OF NOW Gallery’s 2022 Young Artist Commission, Joy Yamusangie is staging an immersive solo show, envisioning the London gallery as a jazz club. Following collaborations with Gucci, Paul Smith, Penguin Books, and Nike, the Congolese-British artist sought to realize their own singular vision. Yamusangie’s practice is highly autobiographical, centering issues of identity, community, and representation. The artist explores these themes through illustration-style images pairing black line drawings with fields of bold color, primarily red, yellow, and blue. Many of the works in the exhibition are self portraits.

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

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

 

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

FIND MORE about the exhibition

 


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

 


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

 


Joy Yamusangie pictured at NOW Gallery: “This imaginary club became a vision for me, a space that symbolized gender euphoria and speaks specifically to my own experience with understanding and celebrating my trans identity and my journey with learning music.” | Photo © Charles Emerson

 


Joy Yamusangie shares their vision for the Feeling Good Jazz Club, a space the artist dreamed up to house their exhibition. | Video by NOW Gallery

 


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

 


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

 


JOY YAMUSANGIE, Guard Your Heart – Your New Shoes. | © Joy Yamusangie, Courtesy 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 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 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 (March 24-June 5, 2022). | Courtesy 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 (March 24-June 5, 2022). | Courtesy 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 (March 24-June 5, 2022). | Courtesy NOW Gallery

 


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

 

FIND MORE about Joy Yamusangie on their website and Instagram

 

BOOKSHELF
The concept for Joy Yamusangie’s exhibition 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 as a man. Only after his death did friends and family learn he was transgender. Yamusangie created the cover art for the 2021 paperback edition of the novel “Minty Alley: Black Britain: Writing Back” by C.L.R. James.

 

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