Portfolio by Doreen Garner

Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing


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Doreen Garner. Onika, 2014. Glass, teeth, Swarovski crystals, hair weave, gold chain, polyester fiber, glitter, and petroleum jelly. All images courtesy of the artist. Photo by Doreen Garner.

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Wet With Tissue, 2015. Platinum silicone, polyester fiber, spoon, letter opener, wire, and hair weave. Photo by Doreen Garner.

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Mango, 2014. Glass, latex tubing, glass cabochons, pearls, Swarovski crystals, condoms, polyester fiber, pins, hair weave, and gold chains. Photo by Doreen Garner.

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Hung, 2014. Latex condoms, tow truck chain, glass, pearls, hair weave, and polyester fiber. Photo by Forest Kelley.

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Toothed Decatur, 2015. Glass, teeth, hair weave, magnifying lens, Swarovski crystals, metallic wrapping paper, pearls, condoms, polyester fiber, urethane rubber, brass screws, and wood stain. Photo by Rob Macinnis.

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Pickled Pearl, 2015. Glass, Swarovski crystals, Swarovski pearls, baking bundts, silicone, brass pipe, plumbing tube, hair weave. Photo by Rob Macinnis.

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Pickled Pearl (detail), 2015. Glass, Swarovski crystals, Swarovski pearls, baking bundts, silicone, brass pipe, plumbing tube, and hair weave. Photo by Rob Macinnis.

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Swoop Band, 2013. Glass, Magnum condoms, hair weave, microcrystalline wax, latex, polyester fiber, and glitter. Photo by Doreen Garner.

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Performance view of The Observatory, 2014. The artist displays herself inside a glass box, performing an oppositional gaze toward each viewer individually.

I identify, extract, and exploit the tissues that bind the sexual and the grotesque, specifically regarding the black female body. Treated as spectacle and disposable specimen, these women and their stories—Henrietta Lacks, Saartjie Baartman, the victims of Dr. J. Marion Sims—are a driving force. Identifying the voyeur as the subject, an oppositional gaze is directed towards fetish, objectification, and racism.

Take the power back, twist it, and sharpen it. Probe all cavities of the privileged viewer experience. With viscera and bling, a material mush is formulated of beads, Swarovski crystals, silicone, rubber, teeth, condoms, teddy bear stuffing, Vaseline, etc., held together by glass walls or latex membranes.

Doreen Garner (b.1986) is a Brooklyn-based artist born in Philadelphia, PA. Select exhibitions include “SHINY RED PUMPING,” Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (2015), “Abjection” at the Rhode Island College Bannister Gallery, Providence, RI (2014), and “Pussy Don’t Fail Me Now,” Cindy Rucker Gallery, NY (2015). Garner has recently completed residencies at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2015) and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014). She holds a BFA in Glass from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and an MFA in Glass at the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently Garner is a 2015-2016 Artist in Residence at Abrons Arts Center, NY.

M. Lamar by Risa Puleo
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“I am an artist. I am a NEGROGOTHIC, devil-worshipping, free black man in the blues tradition. Those are the things I am now.”

Kenya (Robinson) by Lee Ann Norman
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Kenya (Robinson) reflects on the end of her MFA program and becoming a professional artist.

Sanford Biggers by Terry Adkins
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Biggers has three shows this fall: an “introspective” at the Brooklyn Museum, a solo show at SculptureCenter, and an exploration of African diaspora imagery at MASS MoCA. He discusses lineage and American history with fellow artist Terry Adkins.