Florine Démosthène’s shapeshifting, cosmological, and mythically imbued nudes posit the black female body as a myriad of collective experiences beyond immediate interpretations based on sensuality and fetishisation. Her ample-shaped figures are largely autobiographical with depictions capturing folds, curves, child-bearing, and other recognisable feminine attributes laid bare on paper and Mylar through an alchemical process of pouring inks and allowing them to react to the work’s surface.
Démosthène was born in the United States and raised between Port-au-Prince and New York City. The nude figures in her artworks are spiritual investigations showing pluralities of the black female body beyond desire and sexuality. For her exhibition Between Possibility and Actuality at Marianne Ibrahim Gallery, Chicago, Démosthène spoke to me about the diasporic experience, non-conforming bodies, and pushing back against the male gaze.