In a practice that combines painting, sculpture, and installation Caitlin Cherry (b.1987, Chicago, IL) addresses Black femininity filtered through the media on which it is viewed and consumed—the screens and interfaces of our phones and laptops. Cherry draws from traditions of art history through an exploration of the protocols of painting, integrating cultural theories on race, gender, class, and the impact of technologies. This online presentation of new paintings and digital collages by Caitlin Cherry, entitled Corps Sonore(“sonorous body”), is accompanied by an essay by artist, writer and media theorist Marisa Olson who expands upon the work.
The protagonists in Cherry’s paintings are Instagram influencers, glamour models, rappers, and exotic dancers—Black American femmes who play a dominant role in shaping popular culture without due credit. Cherry connects the commodification and desirability of the Black femme body to the seductiveness and circulation of paintings as a financial instrument in order to examine the similar ways we authenticate and secure each of them. Cherry selects her subjects, manipulates their image digitally, and paints them filtered through "sonorous" layers of radiating patterns of color and pulsing light that camouflage the models as a way to articulate how Black femininity is represented and, equally importantly, how her subjects represent themselves.