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Past Exhibition Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby

October 13, 2018–March 17, 2019

A mixed media artwork depicting a man who is looking off to the left. His eyes are made of flowers and he has jewel tears running down his face. His hair is replaced with glitter and there is a razor going over that area. There are pink flowers around his chest area and other pink flowers in the background. There are also six photographs of men in the background.

Devan Shimoyama, Tasha, 2018, Courtesy of the artist

In figurative painting and self-portraiture, Devan Shimoyama creates vulnerable yet resilient depictions of African American boyhood and masculinity.

Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby will mark the first museum solo exhibition of Devan Shimoyama, Philadelphia-born painter and professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Spanning his burgeoning career, this exhibition includes painting, photography, and sculpture, and a series of new works that will be on view for the first time. His work challenges cliché with daring and personal representations of the complexities of race and sexuality. In his recent barbershop paintings, Shimoyama transforms the hyper-masculine social space into queer fantasy where feminine glamour and fashion take over, and tender depictions of boys don floral capes and glitter-encrusted hair.

Shimoyama creates two distinct worlds—one an enchanted paradise, the other a queer imagining of the African American barbershop. Celebrated for fraternity and community, Shimoyama presents the barbershop as a space where young men and boys can feel shamed and vulnerable. In sculpture, he creates objects of mourning for Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, both examples of the aggressive targeting of African American youth as fearful or threatening. While canvases feel joyful and celebratory, they also present commentary on pain and sorrow. Teardrops lurk in the background of his landscapes or stream down the faces of his figures as a reminder of the racial injustices at work in contemporary society. Shimoyama presents a world where race, sexuality, and identity can operate from a point of freedom generated by inner strength.

This exhibition makes a unique connection to The Andy Warhol Museum’s permanent collection and brings to light contemporary insight into one of Warhol’s largest and yet most overlooked painting commissions, the Ladies and Gentlemen series of 1974-75. Visitors will find Shimoyama’s work in dialog with Warhol’s portraits of drag queens on the fourth floor of the museum’s permanent collection. Shimoyama’s confident and daring depictions of sexuality, race and queer performance help reclaim the agency and visibility that Warhol’s models have been denied and bring these paintings out from the shadows.

Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby is curated by Jessica Beck, The Milton Fine Curator of Art at The Andy Warhol Museum. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by Jessica Beck, Alex Fialho, and Rickey Laurentiis and interview by Emily Colucci with the artist.

Generous support of Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby is provided by the Quentin and Evelyn T. Cunningham Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Fine Foundation, Arts, Equity, & Education Fund, Karen and Jim Johnson, De Buck Gallery, Jim Spencer and Michael Lin, with additional support from Stacy and Samuel Freeman, V. Joy Simmons M.D., Mrs. Ellen and Mr. Jack Kessler, The Plastino Family Charitable Fund, and Mr. Howard C. Eglit.

Debuck Gallery

Arts, Equity, & Education Fund


Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby

Published in conjunction with the exhibition Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby this catalogue documents the first museum exhibition of Shimoyama’s figurative paintings and sculptures. Multiple essays and an artist interview examine the complexities of race and sexuality presented in the work.

Jessica Beck, Alex Fialho, Rickey Laurentiis, Emily Colucci with Devan Shimoyama
Hardcover, 100 pages, 60+ illustrations
Published by The Andy Warhol Museum, 2018

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The cover of Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby book. The cover has a mixed media artwork depicting a man who is looking off to the left. His eyes are made of flowers and plant leaf made of sequins rests against his back. Pink teardrops are appeared scattered over the whole scene. Devan Shimoyama Cry, Baby is printed over the image.

"Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby" at The Warhol

"Devan Shimoyama: Cry, Baby" Artist Talk

The Artist Up Close: Devan Shimoyama