Super gigantic congratulations to Stamps MFA candidate Cosmo Whyte! In the midst of producing his thesis work, he recently found out that two of his photographs have been acquired by the National Gallery of Jamaica.
Cosmo, born and raised in Montego Bay, makes drawings, photographs, and installations examining the impact of European colonization on his home country and the culturally hybrid traditions that have resulted. Often, like with his neck tie garments featured in these photographs, Cosmo’s work manifests as their own culturally hybrid objects.
Cosmo explains, “I am interested in the ways that we ascribe meaning, memory and importance to objects, particularly heirlooms. My father’s neckties, iconic symbols of masculinity, provided a link to their former owner. Sometimes these neckties adorn the faces and body of a male figure in a manner reminiscent of many West African sculptures and tribal garb. Other times the ties take on a more violent characteristic, suffocating the subject or exploding from within.”
Cosmo’s photographs are currently on view at the National Gallery of Jamaica in a 40-year retrospective of the museum’s collection.