Yrneh Gabon is a Jamaican born, multi-disciplinary, mixed media and performance artist based in Los Angeles. Gabon received his BFA from the University of Southern California (with distinguished honors) and his MFA from Otis College of Arts and Design. Gabon’s practice seeks balance and intersections between artistic representation, social activism, and social commentary — particularly regarding issues pertinent to Africa and people within its diaspora.
In 2014, after travels and research in Tanzania, Jamaica, and across America, Gabon was given his first solo and major body of work at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, entitled, “Visibly Invisible." The exhibition focused on the killing, hunting, and mistreatment of people born with albinism. “Visibly Invisible" brought attention to the plight of people living with albinism with focus on occurrences in East Africa, which became instrumental in speaking at the United Nations in New York to advocate for the passing of the bill that protects people with albinism around the world. Another social practice work of note is his ongoing project, “Memba Mi Tell Yu/Listen Up Take Note,” an operetta on ecological climate change that brings awareness to the nexus of ecological climate change dealing with fire and water and now salt.
In 2017, Gabon completed a summer residency at the Fundación Sebastian in Mexico City. His work, entitled “Roots and Symbols,” explored the invisible people of African heritage in Mexico and the lack of equitable resources in communities of color in the black coastal Mexico. Gabon has held exhibitions in New York, California, and internationally, including Canada, Senegal, Jamaica, and the West Indies. In December 2018, Gabon had the distinct honor and privilege to be one of the featured international artists at the Musée des Civilisations Noires’ inaugural exhibition in Dakar, Senegal.
Gabon was invited to exhibit in the summer 2019 at the National Gallery and was a Guest Speaker at “Mi and Me Suitcase” Earl Warner Foundation, at the University of the West Indies (UWI) HQ fundraiser benefiting Scholarships for arts students, in Jamaica. A true artist in heart and soul, Gabon has been in the arts and entertainment for over 35 years and has worked as a poet, actor/singer, award winning director, producer, playwright, special effects make-up artist and creative director. Gabon’s purpose and aim continues to use of all mediums of art as a tool for empowerment, social activism and social commentary regarding issues surrounding Africa and its Diaspora. His work continues to create new narratives and extend dialogue between Africa and its Diaspora, both in the first and the developing world. Gabon 2022 Dakar biennale selecting “Salt” was inspired by his travels to Lac Rose in Senegal and explores the intersection of salt as a commodity in Africa and the United States. His upcoming Fulbright fellowship will take him to Southern African country of Botswana, where he will research the impact of Social to people, the ecological climate change in the Okavango Delta and Lake Makgadikgadi Salt Pond 2023-24.
“It is my mission to use my fine arts practice to re-education and address the inequities within undeserved communities and reconstruct a narrative, that bridge us as a people facing social, inspirational seeing with the mind’s eyes and speaking from the heart. We need to speak less and do more for positive and social empowerment.”