Mueller Family Gallery, Cohen Family Gallery, Kohl Atrium
Erykah Townsend, Look Mom, I’m a Woman Now!, 2021. acrylic, oil, modeling paste, and toy witches on panel, 24 x 36 in. (60.96 x 91.44 cm.). Courtesy the artist
Multimedia conceptual artist Erykah Townsend draws from pop culture to unpack connections between innocence and absurdity. During her time as moCa’s Artist-in-Residence (July-December 2022), she began creating a new body of work that explores consumerism’s influence on Western mainstream holidays. This work, to be displayed in her upcoming solo exhibition, "Happy" Holidays, critiques how consumerism has changed the ways we celebrate holidays. Artwork highlighting the chaos of Black Friday and the neighborly sport of holiday decorating satirizes a culture of one-upmanship and demonstrates a shift in values that prioritizes material objects over human relationships.
moCa AIR is supported by Margaret Cohen & Kevin Rahilly.
“Happy” Holidays is supported by The Satellite Fund, administered by SPACES and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program.
About the Artist
Erykah Townsend, also known as E.T., is a conceptual artist from Cleveland, Ohio. Her art boldly confronts and questions the role of pop culture in our lives. She states, “I use pop culture as a medium itself—exploring the spaces it fills in our lives and the inquiry of how real are the imaginary." Through reflective and humorous narratives, Townsend references art history and critiques consumerism and western culture, using characters, cultural icons, and objects as allegories for her criticism. In addition, her work includes elements from their original sources, providing the audience with a fresh and sentimental encounter. Townsend received her BFA in painting from The Cleveland Institute of Art in 2020.