"Stay Woke, Stay Standing" by Zoya Taylor
39 x 59 inches oil on linen canvas, 2018 --unframed
Zoya Taylor has developed a highly individualistic style of figuration and an incredibly idiosyncratic body of work that centers on a recurring cast of characters drawn partly from memories of a childhood spent in Jamaica, but very much a production of her psyche. Hers is a world inhabited by wide-eyed waifs, world-weary grandmothers, wistful spinsters, braggadocios and rude-boys. Her characters exhibit a curious mixture of innocence and worldliness and embody the duality in human nature. Her view on the human condition is that “we all have a cast of characters that define our lives. Personal demons or angels--spiritual or not, there’s a commonality in these characters. They draw on human themes of secrecy, pride and hurt, but also humor and love.”
Zoya Taylor, was born in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She spent her early childhood in Germany and moved with her Jamaican father and Canadian mother to Kingston, Jamaica when she was eight. Her academic career includes a Masters degree in International Social Work, and teaching experience at universities in Canada, Jamaica and Norway. She is essentially a self-taught artist, but has taken classes in painting, sculpture and drawing. She enjoys gallery representation in the USA, Jamaica, Germany and Norway, and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Kingston, Jamaica; Berlin, Germany; Barcelona, Spain; Oslo, Norway; Florence, Italy; and London, England. In 2009 she was awarded the President’s Award at the Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy. She currently lives in Oslo, Norway.
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