Artist Profile: Shabez Jamal
Shabez Jamal (b. 1992, St. Louis, Missouri) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans still portraiture, experimental video, and performance. His work employs queerness as a mode of interrogating power relations and engaging questions of political, physical, and socio-economic space. By centering fat, Black, queer, male-identified people in his practice, Jamal reconfigures conceptions of racial and sexual identities. Highlighting overlooked histories of Black life and experiences of dispossession, in his series “I came back to visit. When I arrived no one was home,” Jamal explores the history behind Kinloch, Missouri’s first Black incorporated city. Once a thriving city, Kinloch experienced significant disinvestment in the 1980s after much of the land was acquired in the expansion of the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Jamal has had solo exhibitions at Old No. 77 Arts Hotel in New Orleans and Erica Popp Gallery in St. Louis and has been a part of several group exhibitions. He has been awarded residencies at Paul Artspace, St. Louis, and an #InTheCity Fellowship through Harvard University’s Commonwealth Fellowship. He is also the co-founder of Artists in the Room, a collective in St. Louis that connects emerging Black artists in the city with a global artistic network. Jamal is currently based in New Orleans, where he is pursuing his MFA and was awarded a Mellon Community Engaged Research Fellowship at Tulane University.
Untitled, from the series “I came back to visit. When I arrived no one was home” (2020)
Something to Grasp Onto As I Reminiscence (2021)
Album Study 13 (2020)