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Shoshanna Weinberger | Jamaica

Born in 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Jamaican-mother and American-father,
Lives and works in Newark, NJ, USA,
Painting, drawing

The cultural history of female exposé, presentation and excessive notions of beauty drives my work. As an artist, I find the idea of what popular culture defines as feminine beauty to be skewed and distorted.

My drawings identify with beauty both physiologically and politically, making connections of awkwardness as a female growing-up in a society obsessed with attaining beauty result in imagery that depicts this as warped excess. Images resulting in malformed and decapitated bodies, with cornrow braids, Afros, unkept locks and pigtails; mutations of multiple-mouths, breasts and buttocks; creating a sense of familiarity, confusion, humor and tension.

I explore contemporary connections, cultural stereotypes and historical women who have been subjugated into modern-day Hottentots. I find this beauty distortion in prepubescent pageant toddlers, strippers, Hollywood-icons, West-Indian Dancehall performers, extreme plastic surgery and even myself.

These figures are tangled, hogtied and wearing props associated with femininity such as bras, thongs, jewelry, make-up and high-heels. Some of the bodies are defiled with graffiti typically found in bathroom stalls. Like tattoos, scars or hieroglyphs, the graffiti covers the forms alluding to mating and desire.

The drawings refer to the psychology of coexisting in human and animal form as well as forms both grotesque and sexualized. Confronting how women survey themselves and examine each other along with how women are displayed for male desire plays into female beauty are a part of my work.

Graduated from the SAIC, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA with a BFA (1995) and from the Yale School of Art / Yale University, USA with a MFA (2003).

Individual exhibitions by Shoshanna Weinberger

Sometimes All of Me is not Enough at Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art in Miami, USA (2012) and What Makes My Hottentot So Hot at the Solo(s) Project House in Newark, USA (2012).

Collective exhibitions

Works for Collections at the HiQo Gallery in Kingston, Jamaica (2013) ; Slippery Slope at the Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, USA (2013) ; Empire at FiveMyles in New York, USA (2013) ; Natural Histories at the National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica (2013) ; The Drawing Project, online exhibition by the Frost Art Museum of Miami, USA (2013) ; Following the Line at the Girls Club in Ft. Lauderdale, USA (2012) ; Acts of Alterity at the Nomad Gallery in Brussels, Belgium (2012) ; Why I Draw at the Front Gallery, ISE Cultural Foundation in New York, USA (2012) ; Spillage at Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art in Miami, USA (2011) ; Reality + Artifice at the New Jersey State Museum of Trenton, USA (2010) ; Hysteria: Past Yet Present at the Paul Robeson Galleries in Rutgers, USA (2009) or The New Authentics at the Spertus Museum in Chicago, USA (2007).


Shoshanna Weinberger participated into the First ‘Biennale Internationale d’Art Contemporain de Martinique, BIAC’ in Morne Rouge, Martinique (2013) and into several editions of the National Biennial Exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica (2012, 2008, 2006).


The artist’s artworks are included in the following collections : Newark Museum in Newark, NJ, USA ; Margulies Collection in Miami, FL USA ; Sagamore Collection in Miami, FL USA ; Girls Club Collection in Ft. Lauderdale, USA.


Shoshanna Weinberger is awarded the First Prize in the 34th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition, in Peoria, USA, in 2013.

She is also recipient of the Carol Schlosberg Memorial Prize from the Yale University, New Haven, USA, in 2003 and of the Gamblin Art Award – from Yale University too – in 2002.

Interview of Shoshanna Weinberger

Shoshanna Weinberger exhibits in the International Pavilion of the BIAC Martinique, Biennale Internationale d’Art Contemporain, which first edition is held from November 22, 2013 to January 15, 2014 and which theme is “On the Resonance of the Literary Outcry in the Visual Arts“. For this need, Uprising travelled to the Martinique from November 19 to 26 to report on the event and conduct a series of interviews of the organizing team, the invited curators, the artists in residency and the artists from the International and Martinican Pavilions. In November 2013, Shoshanna answered to our questions on A Collection of Strangefruit, and on her investigations around the representation of the feminine body. Read more

Artworks by the artist

Shoshanna Weinberger | Dirty Bottom Honey Boo

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Shoshanna Weinberger | Back Lit Smoker

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Shoshanna Weinberger | A Collection of Strange Fruit

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