Curatorial

Curatorial Projects and Art Programming

Please be patient! We are uploading a lot of exhibitions, photos, and interviews from over the years. 🙂


Portraits of Yesteryear

December 4th – January 30th, 2021

“Live the moment. Cherish the present. Anticipate the future. Frame the yesteryear” – Hlovate

ArtAboveReality is pleased to present “Portraits of Yesteryear”, a group survey highlighting contemporary artists across multiple art practices. What do we remember about yesterday? How has it changed? What’s still as you remember it? Many people across the world have lost family members, jobs, and more which allows them to see through different eyes. These portraits are a reflection of a time we used to know – a show of humanity. Yesteryear, referring to a life-changing event is analyzed throughout these images allowing the artist a moment of reflection, and the viewer a chance to gain the artists’ perspective from their visual stories. Curated by Badir McCleary of ArtAboveReality.

Artists In The Exhibition:
Kwesi Abbensetts (@kwesiabbensetts), Amy McCormac (@mccormacamy), GreatJoy Ndlovu (@ngreatjoy1), Kemal Celnigir (@streetwiseLA), Elmer Guevara (@3lmski1), Nema Etebar (@nemaetebar), Jonah Jay (@jonah.elijah), Solomon Adufah (@solomonadufah), Erika Dickstein (@hagueNYC), J. Michael Walker (@jmichaelwalker1), Monica Seggos (@monicaseggos), Patrice Robinson (@patdowart), Neequaye Dreph (@dreph), and Andrew Navarro (@oogumvision).


Elmer Guevara, Jonah Elijah, and Kemal Cilengir

Elmer Guevara was born and raised in Los Angeles and is currently working bicoastal in New York City. In the 1980s, his parents fled a civil war-torn El Salvador finding refuge in the city of angels. Kemal Cilengir aka StreetWiseLA. “I document Los Angeles. I walk the streets religiously trying
to expose every alley, avenue, and crack the sidewalks have to offer.” Jonah Elijah is a Houston, Texas native now working in Los Angeles. He received his BA in studio art from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2017. MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2020.

Neequaye Dreph Dsane and Greatjoy Ndlovu

Neequaye Dreph Dsane is a visual artist working across a wide range of media. With a focus on painting the human figure, he is best known for his large-scale street murals and oil paintings. Greatjoy Ndlovu is a full-time visual artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born in the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He went on to study Art at Cyrene Mission in the Southern part of the Matabeleland region in Zimbabwe.

Monica Seggos and Patrice Robinson

Patrice Robinson is best known for her intense, realistic portrait paintings created by using oil on wood panels. She gains inspiration from her personal experiences. Monica Seggos is a self-taught Greek-American artist who focuses on building narrative environments. Each environment is a synthesization of multiple mediums with the primary objective of forming a coherent whole that contains several layers of meaning for maximum impact. 

Andrew “Oogum” Navarro

Andrew Navarro is a Native American, Los Angeles-based artist who focuses his practice in mixed media, Acrylic, Ink, screen printing, graphic design, and film production. Navarro’s work has been featured in various art shows throughout Los Angeles since 2008 with the O Gallery, Gallery 38, The Hive Gallery, The LA Art Show, The Coachella Music Festival, and The Street Art Fair. Navarro is completely self-taught and possesses a visual approach that features pop surrealism and expressionism. 

Amy McCormac

Amy McCormac started her career in computer graphics as an animation assistant.  After a few years, she went back to her true love, oil painting.  After tiring from painting A la Prima for years, whether a figure, landscape, or still life, she decided to paint from her own memories.   This recent body of work represents her true artistic voice.

Erika Dickstein and Nema Etebar

Erika Dickstein, a multi-faceted artist and visual storyteller, has a primary focus on Fashion and Photography, which stems from photographing and styling friends throughout her childhood. My Passion is People. Diversity & Culture. The Camera is just a tool for starting Conversations &
Connecting with Humanity. Each city has its own vibration. I Seek to Create & Explore with what is local to the area. Documenting from the Heart & shooting from the Soul! – Nema Etebar


Metropolis: A Snapshot of Art Making in Los Angeles

ArtAboveReality is pleased to present “Metropolis: A Snapshot of Art Making in Los Angeles”, a group survey highlighting eighteen contemporary artists in the city of Los Angeles. What really defines a living and working artist in Los Angeles? What does an artist look like? How are artists able to manage expectations with new visibility? This exhibition takes an anthropological and sociological view on the creative practices of artists of color in the city. This re-engagement with artists and their workspaces allow the viewer a firsthand view of the creative process. This exhibition is dedicated to the loving memory of former California African American Museum Curator Vida L. Brown.

Artists In The Exhibition:
Chelle Barbour, Sharon Barnes, April Bey, Steven Cogle, Adrienne DeVine, Charles Dickson, June Edmonds, Al-Baseer Holly, Pamela Smith-Hudson, Overton Loyd, Man One, Michael Massenburg, Norman “NOMZEE” Maxwell, Sam Pace, Duane Paul, Wayne Perry, Miles Regis, and Jamaal “Hasef” Tolbert.

Metropolis: A Snapshot of Art Making in Los Angeles was located at 2736 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. The exhibit was on view to the public from November 16th through December 14th, 2020. Stay updated with the exhibition on social media via the hashtags #ArtAboveReality, #MetropolisLA. Please contact info@artabovereality.com for more information. Exhibit information available upon request. All images are subject to copyright.


Relational Chemistry: An Introspective of Urban Experience

“Relational Chemistry” is set to open at Ivben Studios on October 16th, 2018 featuring a collection of works by Philadelphia-based contemporary artists across multiple practices.

ArtAboveReality is pleased to present “Relational Chemistry: An Introspective of Urban Experience”, a group survey highlighting nineteen contemporary artists in the city of Philadelphia. Focusing on their grassroots origins, “Relational History: A Introspective of Urban Experience” speaks to the artists using their practice to realize and then share their identities, an entrance, for the viewer, into the artist’s inner selves. 

With urbanism being diverse and lively, advancing in technology, and shifting capital investment, It is shaped by power and wealth, as well as imagination and labor layered with intertwined cultural and social histories. The work manifests itself in facets of painting, sculpture, and interactive installations, centering on the interpretation of culture, society, identity, and the complex but meaningful conversations relating to contemporary issues of urbanism and human chemistry. While the members of this show come from diverse backgrounds, it is this chemistry that ties their experiences and practices together. 

Artists In The Exhibition:
Aubrie Costello, Holly Colaguori, Bariq Cobbs, Nema Etebar, Claes Gabriel, Kenneth Jackson, Caryn Kunkle, Nile Livingston, June Lopez, Alloyius McIlwaine, IvbenTaqiy, Taji Ra’oof Nahl, Dejeonge Reese, Serena Saunders, Richard Tenaglia, Ellen Tiberino, Gabe Tiberino, Raphael Tiberino, and Derrick Woodyard.


The exhibit will be on view to the public from October 16th through 20th. Press release and show imagery available upon request. Please contact info@artabovereality.com for more information. “Relational Chemistry: An Introspective of Urban Experience” is located at 3239 Amber Street., Philadelphia, PA 19134. Stay updated with ArtAboveReality on Instagram (@ArtAboveReality)  via the hashtags #ArtAboveReality, #RelationalChemistry. Also, visit us at https://www.artabovereality.com. All images are subject to copyright. Gallery approval must be granted prior to reproduction.


Portraits Of Yesteryear – Virtual Exhibition

ArtAboveReality is pleased to present “Portraits of Yesteryear”, a group survey highlighting contemporary artists across multiple art practices. What do we remember about yesterday? How has it changed? What’s still as you remember it? Many people across the world have lost family members, jobs, and more which allows them to see through different eyes. These portraits are a reflection of a time we used to know – a show of humanity. Yesteryear, referring to a life-changing event is analyzed throughout these images allowing the artist a moment of reflection, and the viewer a chance to gain the artists’ perspective from their visual stories. Curated by Badir McCleary of ArtAboveReality.

Metropolis – Exhibition Walkthrough

Metropolis – A Snapshot of Art Making in Los Angeles. “We are informed about the gallery space but never involved with it as being an extension of the artist’s studio – a haven that purifies emotions through the evocation of fear, stimulation of thought and interaction.” – Faisal Abu’Allah

Relational Chemistry – Exhibition Walkthrough

ArtAboveReality is pleased to present “Relational Chemistry: An Introspective of Urban Experience”, a group survey highlighting nineteen contemporary artists in the city of Philadelphia. Focusing on their grassroots origins, “Relational History: A Introspective of Urban Experience” speaks to the artists using their practice to realize and then share their identities, an entrance, for the viewer, into the artist’s inner selves.


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