Amy Sherald

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First Prize

Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance)
Frances and Burton Reifler

Growing up in Columbus, Georgia, Amy Sherald was mindful of the “appropriate” behavior expected of her as an African American girl. Inspired by artists such as Kerry James Marshall and Barkley Hendricks, Sherald creates innovative, dynamic portraits that, through color and form, confront the psychological effects of stereotypical imagery on African American subjects. Her subjects are often set in whimsical, nondescript settings with surreal details that add a bit of satire. The dreamlike backgrounds create what the artist refers to as “the amorphous personal space of my own existence within the context of black identity and my search for ways to clarify and ground it.” Using light gray paint, Sherald “omits” skin color so her subjects appear both realistic and otherworldly.

Artist Interview