“A game where dirt, body, or voice is all fair”: Moses Sumney, the most popular musician in the art world, is working on the following visual arts:

At a gig in Berlin a few years ago, Ghanaian-American singer-songwriter and artist Moses Sumney showed the difference between how music is consumed and art. “I was in front of an audience who wanted to see me sing, but I had to compete with the clicking and chattering sounds of my glasses,” he told Artnet News. The next day when he visited the gallery exhibition, Samny noticed a complete silence in the crowd. “Art had full respect and attention to all eyes and ears,” he says. “I realized once again that I was dissatisfied with the lack of awe in the music industry.”

Perhaps that’s why Samny has deliberately worked outside the industry since his groundbreaking album. Mid City Island With angelic voices and celestial delivery, North Carolina-based performers have become darlings of the indie music scene. His sharp stage presence and sharp lyrics caught the attention of headliners such as Sufjan Stevens, Beck and James Blake. The person he toured.

Despite its growing popularity as a performer, Samny’s ultimate inspiration comes from his dedication to loneliness. “What I came back to while writing was loneliness and standing outside the club,” says Samny. “Specificity is the framework for me to approach life and my own unique nature.”

Moses Sumney created some introspective self-portraits for his show at the Nicola Wassel Gallery.

Befitting, he recently realized that he was moving towards a more solo practice of artmaking.Continue Immersive sensory installation at Pioneer Works In Brooklyn last fall Interdisciplinary project at the Perez Museum in Miami At Art Basel Miami Beach in December, Samny will hold his first solo gallery show with a Chelsea dealer this week. Nicola Wassel..

At the exhibition “Black alacia” (February 3-5, 2022), the concert movie Samny was named after the Blue Ridge Mountains, about an hour away from his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Includes a 70-minute director’s cut.A medley of music and performance, this movie features songs from his album græ græ When Aromanticism.. When Samny dances a full-band lush landscape with vocals in the background, it fluctuates between unrestrained moments of action and psychedelic introspection, such as scenes shot with a deep indigo nocturnal filter. To do.

Samny also performed when the film premiered at PAMM in December. This time, focusing on his eyes as a photographer, the gallery displays still images of movies and introspective self-portraits. The freedom to choose not to play “at least one or two songs with art” is a new pleasure for Samny. “I made myself very usable as a singer, but I’m already creating art here and it’s hanging on the wall,” he says.

Samny was first exposed to the creative potential of loneliness when the family returned to Ghana from Southern California, where they were born in 1992, and grew up on a goat farm near Accra at the age of 10. He had no internet access until he was 16 years old. He started connecting with other teenagers in AOL chat rooms, spending an hour each week in an internet cafe and absorbing celebrity news on MSN’s entertainment page. “I was around American culture while trying to incorporate whatever I could for comfort and connection,” he remembers.

He returned to California to study creative writing and poetry at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he began writing and playing his own music, but moved to Appalachia in 2018 to escape the crowd. It has spurred the need again. “We lived in LA so often that people just talked to each other on the agenda,” he says. “I needed an environment where my artistry could thrive without damaging my fame.” By living in the changing light of birds, trees, and mountains, Samny was rooted in reality. Not negotiable The loneliness he was looking for and the occasional material inspiration Black Arakia.. “Dirty, body, voice, everything is a fair game in art production,” says Samny. “My hope is that the audience will have a unique and internally unique experience with this film.”

Such a personal experience was also at the heart of Samny. Techno echo phenomenon Project in Pioneer Works that combines physics and technology. Visitors can enter the box one at a time and “play” the room based on their movements, using fluctuating neon lights and different octaves of Samny’s song “Mein 20 Years” on their second album. I did. græ græ.. “Our physicality was able to guide the computer, so there was a human element embedded in the experience,” he says.

Moses Samny in the installation Techno echo phenomenon At Pioneer Works. Photo: Sachyn Mital

Samny sees these two invitations to take advantage of technology as a natural extension of his creative practice, influenced by technology. “I’m interested in the intersection of vocals and machines, such as autotune and gender,” he says, describing audio experiments as “strange sounds.”

According to Franklin Thermans, executive director of PAMM, how Samny comfortably crosses genres is an indication of the possible direction contemporary art is heading. “Visual artists can become so dependent on the system of galleries and MFA programs that they forget where creativity comes from,” he says. “Moses goes against that trend, and I think he is more of a precursor to coming that way.”

Arthur Lewis, UTA Artist SpaceCreative Director and early champion of Samny’s transition to art, he states that the artist’s interdisciplinary approach is essential to his practice.His focus on visual arts and photography gives him the opportunity to express himself in ways that are not always translated on stage. On the stage, you need to engage with the stage persona that is always “on”. “

Moses Sumney playing at PAMM in December 2021. Photo: Corrado Amenta from Onkei Photography. Courtesy UTA.

And after years of working on the conventions expected in the music industry, Samny is now ready to do the same in the art world. He is also ready to question his visual arts abilities, based on his preconceptions about his fame in music. “Some people pay attention because of my name, while others completely destroy the work for the same reason,” he says.

He sees Nicola Wassel’s gallery as “a space that fits the intimacy of his work” that he is currently publishing. The fact that it is a commercial gallery does not bother him either. “Long ago I realized I wouldn’t sell,” he says, “so whenever I sell, it’s the top cherry blossom.”

“Moses Sumney: Black Arakia” will be on display at Nicola Wassel at 138 Tens Avenue in New York from February 3rd to March 5th, 2022.

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