Join The Phillips Collection as we celebrate Simone Agoussoye, the winner of our People’s Choice Award for Inside Outside, Upside Down. Simone will be in conversation with Camille Brown, Curatorial Assistant at the Phillips.
Artist Statement: “Beauty Mark is a painting of my younger sister, a 16-year-old girl living inside outside, upside down. This work speaks to the identity and the presence of young Black girls living during one of the most difficult and challenging times in their life and in history. A Global Pandemic. COVID-19. Being a Woman in America. Being a Black Woman in America. Black Lives Matter. These combined social elements leave one wondering what the future holds. Just like this one Black girl in this dark, seemingly scary world, she can, still, and will have a powerful impact on the world. Despite all of these disturbing circumstances and all of the ugliness we have seen in 2020, beauty still exists—even if it is as small as this Beauty Mark. The sense of darkness that the year 2020 brought is represented in this painting by the black acrylic paint used as the background. It was also important to depict the texture and the different layers that this young lady is made up of by the heavy application of oil paint for her hair and clothing.”
Simone’s evolution in portrait artistry has allowed her to explore using materials such as broken crushed glass in her work. The use of this material has sharpened her craftsmanship, proving that she has a unique talent. She is highly creative with an insatiable thirst for growth and development in her artistic skill. Known for her creative depictions of people, Simone blends her traditional skill in portraiture with fresh, new and unconventional techniques transforming her from a realistic fine artist to more of a contemporary artist. Over the course of her artistic career, and even in her youth, Simone has been awarded in fairs, competitions and ceremonies for her artistic ability and talent as reflected in her artwork. Her longtime passion for art led her to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Washington, which she completed in 2011.
IMAGE: Simone Agoussoye, Beauty Mark, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in., Courtesy of the artist