Kamoy (Kamoy Smalling, b. 1988, Bronx, NY): Kamoy creates oil paintings, drawings, films and installations that explore the human psychological terrain by showcasing moments of internal conflict, release, and reconciliation. Her haunting, yet inviting compositions often use avatars and dark humor to investigate the construction and deconstruction of the self through the lenses of race, femininity, and otherness.
Raised in a conservative, insular religious community and bred in the orthodoxy of capitalistic infatuation, the New York-born artist’s works are heavily inspired by her journey and oscillation between identity portals and ways of being. Common themes examined include dynamic nominalism, the fluidity of identity, the fabrication of authenticity, and the juxtaposition of normalized notions of success and inadequacy.
Self-taught, kamoy’s pieces seek to offer viewers a respite from the trite norms of categorical being. kamoy completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology and the History of Science from Harvard University before receiving her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.