Biography


Alicia Brown born 1981, St. Ann, Jamaica.


Alicia Brown attended the Edna Manley College of the Visual Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica, and received a diploma in Art Education in 2003 and a BFA in Painting in 2009. Brown received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2014 and was awarded a residency scholarship in Leipzig Germany from the school.
Alicia was one of the winners of the Dawn Scott Memorial Award in the Jamaica Biennial 2017. She is a recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, and LCU Foundation Grants. She has participated in numerous group shows in Jamaica, USA and Europe. She has had a solo show at Studio 174 in Kingston, Jamaica and Virago Gallery, Seattle Washington. Her work has been featured in Hyperallergic magazine, Painting the figure now 2019 magazine, The Jamaica Gleaner and Observer, Caribbean Quarterly Journal and other publications. Her work is in the collections of Steven Alan Bennett, Imago Mundi, George N’Namdi, and Brenda Thompson among others.
Alicia Brown uses traditional and contemporary painting techniques and iconographic references to examine race, cultural identity, adaptation, beauty and social status.



Artist Statement

We inhabit an illusive space, where there is an ongoing struggle to find the missing pieces of self. We are all on the journey to be accepted and to feel a sense of belonging.
My work is about mimicry- what it means to mimic, what are the implications in employing this tool in the process of constructing post-colonial Caribbean identity and what significance this idea has in twenty first century art context. We are all aware of the narratives surrounding the issues regarding the influence of colonialism, mass-media, pop culture, western trends and their impact on the formation of identity, but who is telling the story and from what point of view? I would like to tell a story………
The act of copying or imitating dominant culture, is evident in the formation of sub-cultures resulting from class distortion that has its association with colonialism. With this in mind, I create works surrounding this duality that plays a vital role in the formation of cultural identity as a product that is constantly changing and not fixed. There is an obsession with the need for acceptance and belonging, I use my works to add to the ongoing dialogue on the subject of cultural identity and representation. Objects such as collars, hair, pearls, spoons,lace and cane are reoccurring in the works, and act as signifier of control, restriction and royalty/high society. These motifs are juxtaposed with figures in the works to highlight the tension regarding class struggles in society.
The current series of works that I started in late 2018 explore the nature of ‘lure’ and the role it plays a medium that attracts, tempt, and entice an artificial bait a means of survival. The strategy of mimicry serves as a device for copying,inventing and fabricating cultural trends in the quest for belonging. The Caribbean has always been a place that attract outsiders, a place to be conquered. I am interested in how we look at the other and how we observe ourselves through the stories told by history. The practice of exchanging and copying from dominant cultures presents, conflicts, struggles and superficial realities. The integration of objects juxtaposed with the figure within the works, serves as markers of class distinction, status and dependency. The intent within the works is to comment on how the images that culture impose on the viewer become cause of conflict.
I make reference to Renaissance and Dutch 16-17th century portraiture, where aspect of this history is appropriated and re-contextualized in its representation. I use the idea of portraiture as a tool that imitates the model, incorporating both traditional and contemporary painting languages to create a ‘story’ within the works.


Using Format