Objet Trouvé I
Esopus, New York
Valerie Piraino (b. 1981, Kigali, Rwanda) is a New York-based artist working in sculpture, installation, and drawing. Piraino creates forms that reference indigenous fruit, land, and craft from the Global South. She has exhibited her work at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; The Third Line Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Lesley Heller Workspace, New York; Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Project Row Houses, Houston; Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Chicago; Artissima, Turin, Italy; among others. Piraino’s awards and residencies include the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Travel Award, (2005); the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space Residency (2015); the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Teaching Artist Fellowship (2014); and the Studio Museum in Harlem Residency, New York (2009). Piraino received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from Columbia University. She is currently part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design at the New School.
Joan Mitchell Center Residency, 2018
My work looks to indigenous fruit, aesthetics and beliefs from the Global South, where conquerors literally carried seeds of wealth. I aspire to give shape to the possibilities of blackness by creating space for self-reflection. What will happen in this blackened space? Is it possible to speak? Is it possible to speak a truth?”