Portrait of Suzanne Cézaire

2022, China ink and acrylic medium on paper. Presented at Band Gallery (Toronto, Ontario) as part of the exhibition Opacity: Obscured Meaning.

“In Opacity: Obscured Meaning, we are invited into Stanley Wany’s inky worlds: ones that are forged in the crucible of the Transatlantic. The 400+ years of violent history are transmuted and Wany invokes the new forms of life that came out of it. Caribbean theorist Édouard Glissant has said: “The whole world is creolizing itself.” It is that creolization process and its accompanying opacity that informs Wany’s practice and is layered into his approach. Wany’s aesthetics of creolization are present in just how much significance his materials hold (sugarcane paper, encre de Chine) as well as in his approach to form.
Wany follows in the footsteps of African-American artist Jack Whitten by invoking the essence of people without representing their faces or bodies. Wany depicts John Blanke, René Depestre, Suzanne Césaire, Bigger, Frank Étienne, E.P Gibbs, sugarcane workers as well as his own spirit. By moving away from Black figuration and indexical representation, we are asked to see beyond what is there and what is legible. The portrait then becomes visible the longer you
linger. Be patient with these ancestors so that they might reveal themselves to you in their time.” – Curated by Raven Spiratos. Assisted by Sarah Edo.