I Wish I Could be Here
Part of the artist's series Strawberry Rhubarb, this work draws from memory and archival material to recreate sacred moments of family life. These joyous and grounded compositions hold space for feelings of belonging while inviting viewers to fully inhabit their own experience. Similarly, the artist explores her Black and Bajan roots from a grounded place of belonging—tenderly probing the dislocation of a diasporic people. In her works, Belgrave refuses to be written out of a colonial history that subverts the Black experience. Instead, the artist treats recollection and preservation as radical acts of collective affirmation. The works in this series are pockets of tenderness—cinematic stills that state “let the record show we were here and loved each other well.”
Combining paper cuts with other media such as oil pastel, Belgrave creates vibrant mosaics of her subjects with a Matisse-like attention to pattern. The artist's compositions demonstrate strong technical skills and an attention to detail in their loving presentation of subjects. Belgrave's works elevate the domestic by memorializing it in the tradition of formal portraiture. The artist mines the rituals of everyday life—memorializing pockets of tenderness while staking claims in the multiple narratives of history. These work uphold and uplift Blackness, family and culture, along with domestic and familial activities, spaces and objects.
Destiny Belgrave’s mixed-media works are loving and vibrant mosaics of her subjects. The artist’s tactile works have a sometimes ornamental attention to pattern, and she employs strong technical skills to achieve precise figuration. Belgrave was nurtured by a Caribbean and African American upbringing, and her work upholds and uplifts Blackness, family and culture—elevating the domestic by memorializing it in the tradition of formal portraiture.
Destiny Belgrave was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1996. The artist received a BFA in Painting from MICA in Baltimore, Maryland.
Tender Tending, a solo exhibition of Belgrave’s work curated by Tess Schwab, took place at SPRING/BREAK in New York City. Other exhibitions of the artist’s work have taken place at: Hashimoto Gallery in New York City; Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts; Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago, Illinois; the Bongsan Cultural Center in Daegu, South Korea; and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Maryland; among others.
In 2021, Belgrave was awarded the Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship with A.I.R. Gallery and the BRICworkspace Residency at BRIC—both in Brooklyn, New York.
Belgrave lives and works in Queens, New York.