Paul Mpagi Sepuya (1982, San Bernardino, CA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent awards include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency (2009-2010) and Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2010), and Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2010-2011).
My studio was private, but not a closed environment. Rather it was a stage that I inhabited and opened to those around me. The photographs made within the space are self-consciously public and circulate in the social world of image-sharing as conversation points, of public posturing, as presentation as social and sexual currency. Portraiture exists in the gallery as well as is circulated on tumblrs, online profiles, in zines, on grindr and facebook. Images created as a private act has an eye to these networks. Both the photographer and the subject are connected in the process.