Paul Mpagi Sepuya


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ISBN: 9781597114806 Category:


Paul Mpagi Sepuya presents the work of one of the most prominent, up-and-coming photographers working today. Sepuya primarily makes studio photographs of friends, artists, collaborators, and himself, inviting viewers to consider the construction of subjectivity. He challenges and deconstructs traditional portraiture by way of collage, layering, fragmentation, mirror imagery, and the perspective of a black, queer gaze. In contrast to the slick artifice of contemporary portraiture, Sepuya suggests the human element of picture taking-fingerprints, smudges, dust on the surface of mirrors. He also allows glimpses into the studio setting-including tripods, backdrops, lenses, and the photographer himself-encouraging multivalent narrative reads of each image. For Sepuya, photography is a tactile and communal enterprise. Although the creation of artist books has been a long-standing part of his practice, Paul Mpagi Sepuya is the first publication of his work to be released widely, copublished with the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis on the occasion of a major solo exhibition.

Additional information

Weight 412 g
Dimensions 20.7 x 25.5 cm
Publisher name Aperture Foundation
Publication date 12 August 2020
Number of pages 88
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Photographs by Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Dimensions 20.7 x 25.5 cm
Weight 412 g


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Paul Mpagi Sepuya (born in San Bernardino, California, 1982) is a Los Angeles-based artist. His work is collected and exhibited by such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Evan Moffitt is a writer, editor, and critic based in New York. His writing appears regularly in Frieze and other publications.

Wassan Al-Khudhairi is chief curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and curator of the exhibition Paul Mpagi Sepuya.

Malik Gaines is writer, performer, and associate professor and director of undergraduate studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Lucy Gallun is associate curator in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Ariel Goldberg is a writer and artist, whose publications include The Estrangement Principle (2016) and The Photographer (2015).

Grace Wales Bonner is creative director and founder of Wales Bonner, a menswear brand based in London.