Dana Robinson was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Florida, and received a BFA in Design from Florida State University in 2012. Robinson is a multidisciplinary artist who combines, reproduces and deconstructs, vintage materials, found objects, and paint to address the topics of youth, black female identity, ownership and nostalgia.
Robinson has exhibited her work in the US and abroad, most recently in No Place Like, a group show at Field Projects Gallery in NY, a solo show at 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, and The Art of Sharing show in the Saint-Paul de Mausole- Saint-Remy de Provence of France. Robinson’s work has been written about in VICE, Queen Mobs Teahouse, Kolaj Magazine, and Sarah Lawrence College’s Lumina Journal to name a few. Robinson is currently living in Brooklyn and pursuing her MFA in Fine Art at the School of Visual Arts.
Cheering for the Home Team
Cheering For the Home Team is twenty-five collages photo based vintage Ebony magazine advertisements that include black women. One, full page advertisement is used to make five collages. Four of the collages are made by carefully cutting out pieces of the ad scanning and arranging them, the final form being made digitally within the bounds of a vinyl job ticket holder. The 5th collage consists of the scraps from the ad that were not used in the previous four collages. This process is done five times with the five advertisements to make twenty-five works.
Abstraction is employed in this series to liberate the black women from their intended function and original form within the advertisements. I use the backgrounds, the folds in the fabric, their skin, and the products they’re selling like paint, and deny the viewer eye contact with the people in the images. By doing this I make a space to consider the thoughts and feelings of the women in the the advertisements, their capacity for transformation and restrict the impulse of the viewer to consume these women with the products they sell.
I turn the products of this lifestyle of frantic consumption against itself. I highlight this subversion through the presence of the job ticket holders that are often used in environments of manual labor and indicate one of potentially hundreds of jobs in progress. As a new beauty is brought to the surface the magazine is still present and contained within this item signaling production.
I recognize the powerful history of consumption that preys on people’s feeling of inferiority as the base given to me to work from but more than that I recognize my ability to use it to my own ends by celebrating humanity through the elevation of black women in all forms. I use the symbols of the ideal black female life to make new possibilities for my future. I work to challenge the way me and other queer black women navigate in the world, and hack the tools given to us to achieve personal fulfillment.
To view more of Dana Robinson’s work please visit her website.