Cameron Welch - AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN New York Friday, February 8, 2019 | Phillips
  • Video

    In the Studio with Cameron Welch

    "There's a forensic quality to the way I look at the world." Meet Cameron Welch. We spoke to the Brooklyn-based artist in his studio about creating collages out of detritus, or what he sees as “evidence of life lived.” His work is a part of AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN, on view at 450 Park Ave.

  • Provenance

    The Artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born 1990, Indianapolis, IN
    Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

    2016 MFA, Columbia University, NY
    2013 BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    Selected honors: SAIC Distinguished Scholarship of Merit, The Elizabeth C. Nolan Shortridge PTA Scholarship.

    Cameron Welch’s work puts forth an explosive cross between painting and mosaic, bringing classical mythology into the 21st century. Quickly rising in the international art world, Welch developed his recent mosaic works as a continuation of his interest in the juxtaposition of images and materials. As Welch wrote in his 2016 artist statement: “My work is invested in visual information, and how materials have content inherent in them.” His varied use of materials and processes, including collage, sewing, dying, and painting, has recently expanded to encompass the ancient practice of mosaic making. “You go to the Met and you don’t see people of color,” the 28-year old artist told VICE in May 2018. “What do you do when you want to pose a new paradigm in representation? People always look back to look forward but stop at like 1950, and I’m like, ‘Why can’t we look back to Greece and ancient craft making?’”

    Working within the tradition of the ready-made, Welch constructs mythical worlds by using smashed objects and materials he finds while dumpster-diving: brooms, mirrors, CDS. As Welch explained the inspiration behind using mosaics in his work: “I was thinking a lot about what could be a new myth and trying to create a new world where people of color get to be represented in this way. So I thought about mashing ancient myths around beauty, sexuality, and identity with more modern signifiers. There are CDs—which are like fossils in the world now because we don’t use them anymore. I was interested in the stories they evoke for people.” Culturally significant objects like a MIDI keyboard and a car rim figure as specific references to time and identity in Welch’s elaborate compositions, bringing the street into the realm of history painting. Pathfinder confronts the viewer with a larger-than-life deity, the objects it is created from putting forth oblique references to time and identity.

    “I’m putting Black figures in romantic spheres to do away with the construct that people of color can’t be represented in that way,” Welch explained. “I’m an artist that doesn’t want to be bound, materially speaking, to one mode of representation. I think it’s all about pushing a new myth of liberated existence in terms of self-identification but also knowledge and narrative. I think it’s all about being free.”



signed, titled and dated "CAMERON WELCH PATHFINDER 2018" on the reverse
oil, acrylic, spray paint, ceramic, and found objects on panel
78 3/4 x 68 1/2 in. (200 x 174 cm.)
Executed in 2018.

Estimate On Request


New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019