A Brampton native, Gordon Shadrach has resided in Toronto for over 25 years, and holds a B.Des. (MAAD) from OCAD University. Shadrach’s passion for painting was reignited six years ago, and since then his work has been exhibited in the Royal Ontario Museum, the Artist Project Toronto, and his solo show at Toronto’s Black Artist Network and Dialogue (BAND).

Shadrach’s evocative work challenges stereotypes often projected upon Black men through his use of colour, clothing and subversion of traditional portraiture. Shadrach’s art brings much-needed representation to the cultural sphere of traditional “Western” portraiture that has long excluded the narratives of Black artists. Through exploring intersections of race, masculinity, class and sexuality, The Artist’s work reflects the complexities of Black experience.

Housed in elegant, patinaed antique frames, Shadrach’s graceful subjects are in perfect tonality with their ornate setting. In addition, his use of fashion creates a variety of narrative possibilities for the viewer’s own gaze to explore and confront. How does clothing contribute to how viewers perceive Black males and what assumptions are made?

Gallery181 was pleased to feature a solo show of Shadrach’s work, Personify, from June 1st-June 30th, 2018.