Let the smoke fill your eyes
This figurative painting explores its subject's self-perception through the lens of queer and feminist theories and our society's racial dogmas. The artist compositions employ colorful painted strokes and distinctive mark-making to depict brash and willingly vulnerable figures that exclaim a righteous allegiance to strength and longevity. Sproles often captures nuanced conversations through her figures' body language, revealing the deep-rooted longing to never be unloved—as well as the effects of body trauma. Flaunting their relentless otherness, the artist's figures represent a deeply rooted disconnection.
Sproles intimately understands the lack of femininity in queer binaries. The worth of Black femmes is often discredited—even though they have served as the backbones and pioneers of many social justice movements. Black femmes have been excluded from their own autonomies, and shamed for expressing even their most crude desires. Sproles grapples with these notions in works that wonder: "Is there a space where Black femmes can exist authentically and ostentatiously as they desire?"
About this work, Sproles says: "A young Black femme dressed in scantily clad clothing waits patiently at the baring of it all."
Through her collage, painting and assemblage, LaNia Sproles responds to a lack of space for Black femme desire to authentically exist. Drawing inspiration from queer and feminist theory, the artist frequently depicts figures who are both brash and willingly vulnerable—and also embody memories of heartbreak and abandonment. While acknowledging the relationship between pain and identity, Sproles’ work explores imagery free from the boundaries of social constructs.
LaNia Sproles was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1995. The artist received a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in Wisconsin in 2017.
Solo exhibitions of Sproles’ work include: Not your Frontline at the Wright Museum in Beloit, Wisconsin (2021); and a solo exhibition at the Arts Literature Lab in Madison, Wisconsin (2021). The artist’s work was shown in Who built the Burning House, a two-person exhibition at the Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2019).
Group exhibitions that have shown Sproles’ work have taken place at: Hawthorne Contemporary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2021); Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2021); School 22 Art Center in Baltimore, Maryland (2019); the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois (2018); Ann Arbor Arts Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan (2018); Women Made Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2017); and the Greymatter Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2017); among others.
Sproles lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This figurative painting explores its subject's self-perception through the lens of queer and feminist theories and our society's racial dogmas. The artist often captures nuanced conversations through her figures' body language, revealing a deep-rooted longing to never be unloved.More
- Framed: 15.0 x 12.0 x 1.5 in.