Keisha Scarville

Artist Biography:

Keisha Scarville is a photo and mixed media artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Studio Museum of Harlem, Rush Arts Gallery, BRIC Arts Media House, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art. In addition, her work has appeared in publications including Vice, Transition, Nueva Luz, ARC, Small Axe, Oxford American, and The New York Times where her work has also received critical review. She was awarded a grant through the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Community Arts Program. She has participated in artist residencies at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Lightwork Artist Residency Program, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, as well as, the Vermont Studio Center. Currently, Keisha is an adjunct faculty member at the International Center of Photography.


My work is about narratives that are triggered by absence. In my practice, I examine the materiality of absence and the subjectivity of the body within the void. I focus on the transformative process that informs how we reconfigure ourselves when we no longer have access to perceived anchor points. By engaging in a process of visual excavation, I explore the weight of histories contained within objects, landscapes, and the body to address questions of belonging in the midst of negation. My work speaks to how these devices activate the imagination, inscribe our identity, and trigger what is hidden in memory.

In my recent body of work, I explore the experience of absence and the camera’s role in visualizing that which cannot be seen but felt. I explore the paradox of abundance within absence and the phenomenology of space. I present my body cloaked in my mother’s clothes, which act as a residual surrogate skin. In the series, I am looking at ways I can facilitate and construct a visual place where I can conjure her presence while using my body as a medium.

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