Humor, grit and contemplation is a hallmark of Martine Syms‘ practice. Born and based in Los Angeles, Syms is interested in how social, cultural, economic and psychological forces begin to shape one’s perception of self and the outside world. Although she works across a range of mediums, video is the bedrock of her practice and the focus of her ongoing She Mad series.
For the first time, Syms is featuring She Mad in its entirety in a new solo exhibition at MCA Chicago. The project takes the form of a semi-autobiographical sitcom of a young female artist who is trying to make it in LA. Inspired by a number of sources, including early cinema, TV shows and meme culture, Syms investigates the ways in which the Black experience has been portrayed through the screen.
On view are five video artworks set against an immersive sculptural installation constructed from exposed aluminum and Syms’ signature color purple for the backdrop. The hue is symbolic in that it references both the chroma key backdrops used in post-production and Alice Walker’s 1982 novel, The Color Purple.
For more on art, check out our latest Studio Visit with Inés Maestre.
220 E Chicago Ave,
Chicago, IL 60611