Frieze New York: Bony Ramirez | Sydney Vernon

May 5 - 14, 2021 

For Frieze’s Online Viewing Room, Thierry Goldberg Gallery is pleased to present new works by gallery artists Bony Ramirez and Sydney Vernon.

Bony Ramirez adheres black and brown drawn figures onto painted wood panels, creating mixed medium portraits that portray contemporary Caribbean life and the underlying European colonialist history that remains in the psyche of individuals. The three works presented in Frieze showcase Ramirez’s expanded practice of incorporating new materials into his portraits, namely wallpaper, swords, and rhinestones, to bring physical and allegorical depth to the stories he tells about Caribbean history and daily life. Ramirez’s practice is heavily influenced by Mannerist and Renaissance portraiture as seen through the presence of still lives, solid colored backgrounds, and romanticized gore in works such as As Long As The Head Is Still Intact, the Goal Continues (2021). The artist’s use of these European styles reflects the colonialist influence on the Caribbean, reclaiming these artistic tropes by re-contextualizing them with Caribbean objects, scenery, and history. Ramirez portrays a still life with Caribbean fruit, and uses a sword not to represent conquest on European land, but, instead, violence on Caribbean soil. The assemblages of objects and mediums in Ramirez’s figurative artworks exemplify a new means to contemporize the staid category of portraiture to celebrate non-white subjects and their history.

Thierry Goldberg Gallery is also presenting two drawings and two paintings by Sydney Vernon. Untitled (After Ever) (2021) and Untitled (Go Big or Go Home)(2021), continue Vernon’s large-scale drawing practice, portraying figures captured in old photographs, and brought to life through thick layers of pastels. The bride and groom pictured in Untitled (After Ever) (2021) reappear in the complimentary paintings Principle (2021) and Pleasure(2021), which are Vernon’s most recent works, and her first foray into painting. In the two separate paintings, Vernon depicts each member of the couple individually, rendered using similar techniques and color palettes to show the figures’ spiritual congruence. Vernon implements methods such as photo transfers and stamping, furthering the photographic quality first seen in her drawings. In her paintings, she continues to use pastels to create opaque potent colors that bestow a haze of emotion to her subjects. It is important to note that both Principle (2021) and Pleasure (2021) are diptychs, furthering their sense that each couple consists of multiple moving pieces – pieces to the other’s puzzle. 

Bony Ramirez (b. 1996, Tenares, Salcedo, Dominican Republic) lives and works in Perth Amboy, NJ. He has had recent solo shows at Bradley Ertaskiran, Montréal, Canada and Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY. Ramirez’s work has also been featured in exhibitions at Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, CA; Company Gallery, New York, NY; Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Regular Normal, New York, NY; Zücher Gallery, New York, NY; Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, NY; Perth Amboy Center for the Arts, Perth Amboy, NJ; Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY, among others.

Sydney Vernon (b. 1995, Prince George’s County, MD) lives and works in New York, NY. This spring, she will earn a BFA from The Cooper Union, New York, NY. Her work has been in exhibitions at Canada Gallery, New York, NY; Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY; Peg Alston Fine Arts, New York, NY; Prince George’s County African American Museum and Cultural Center, Brentwood, MD; and The White Room, Washington, DC.