Devan Shimoyama Is the Winner of the 2016 PULSE Prize


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By: Sarah Cascone

Devan Shimoyama is the winner of the 2016 Miami Beach PULSE Prize at PULSE Miami Beach. The artist’s work was the subject of a solo presentation at the booth of Los Angeles’s Samuel Freeman Gallery, a first time exhibitor at the fair.

The artist has utterly transformed the booth, painting the walls black and decorating them with glittery black banana leaves, attempting to draw a connection between Shimoyama’s brightly-colored self portraits and nature. The installation is completed by bedazzled white swings that hang from the ceiling.

“I renounce the notion of one’s body belonging to oneself. My body, inhabited by my spirit, serves as my home in which I maintain and utilize his functionality in order to navigate the world,” said Shimoyama of his work in a statement. “He becomes a portal for the viewer to enter and undergo a symbiotic relationship with him in his exploration of magic and self”

The artist, who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was selected by a panel of jurors made up of Justine Ludwig, director of exhibitions at Dallas Contemporary; Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, curator at New York’s El Museo del Barrio; and Bahia Ramos, arts program director at the Knight Foundation; and artnet News editor-in-chief Rozalia Jovanovic. Shimoyama will receive a $2,500 cash prize.

The other nominees for the 2016 prize were Fernando Otero at GALERIA, Bradley Wood at Sim Smith, Sharon Butler at SEASON, Andrew McIntosh at bo.lee gallery, Sean Newport at Cordesa Fine Art, Sam Burford at Fiumano Projects, Henriette Grahnert at Kleindienst, Thrush Holmes at BEERS London, Hiroshi Shinno at YOD Gallery, Rashaad Newsome at De Buck Gallery, Mark Joshua Epstein at Vane, Adriana Ospina at DANTE AND RANDALL, Chen Chen + Kai Williams at kinder MODERN, Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos at Galerie Christope Tailleur, and Jessica Drenk at Adah Rose Gallery.