For nearly five years, Peruvian-born, Seattle-based artist Rafael Soldi has transformed loss and uncertainty into a profound, sometimes abstract photography series Life Stand Still Here. It branched from an earlier project based on a sudden breakup and evolved into a murky succession of images that connect Soldi’s deeply personal moments with grander, more universal struggles. Using a range of techniques including still life, abstraction, and a large-scale grid of photobooth portraits, Soldi asks viewers to consider the connection between his experiences and their own.
I first encountered Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s work when I walked into his 2017 solo exhibition at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York City. I didn’t so much view his pictures as I did stare at them, trying to reconcile the spatial constructions, to untangle the delicate knots of reference and self-reference, seeking to decode anonymous flesh of male forms, and trying to figure out where any given picture starts or ends;