Following his feature in the Royal Ontario Museum and the Musee de Beaux Arts in Montreal, the elegant portraiture of artist Gordon Shadrach has arrived at Gallery181, an intimate gallery located in Toronto’s vibrant Moss Park neighbourhood. Gordon’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, Gordon’s work reflects the complexities of Black experience.
Housed in elegant, patinaed antique frames, Gordon’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.
A Brampton native, Gordon Shadrach has resided in Toronto for over 25 years, and holds a B.Des. (MAAD) from OCAD University. Gordon’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).