Nina Chanel Abney (born 1982) is a contemporary artist living and working in New York. Abney received her B.F.A. from Augustana College in Illinois before earning her M.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in New York. Despite being the youngest student in her M.F.A. class, Abney’s thesis project, Class of 2007 instantly gained the attention of not only her peers and instructors, but the eye of gallery curators as well. Upon completing her thesis painting which depicted her classmates as dark-skinned prisoners and herself, the only African-American in the class, as a white-skinned prison guard, she was invited to join the KravetsWehby Gallery.
Abney’s style incorporates cartoonish characters, bright colors, and a tendency to address gender, race, politics, and pop culture’s preoccupation with celebrity. Her paintings are both engaging and politically charged, and have been compared to a visual representation of the information overload in today’s digital society. Her work has been exhibited at the Anna Kustera and Kravets/Wehby Gallery in New York and the Fred Gallery in London.
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