The MacArthur Foundation announced the recipients of its “genius” fellowships, worth $625,000 each. Recipients include Jordan Casteel, Daniel Lind-Ramos, and Nicole Fleetwood.
Painter Jorden Casteel is known for her portraits of Harlem residents in New York, from where she hails from. Casteel deliberately chooses Black and Brown people as subjects – faces she believes are not particularly well-represented in the art world. Her works have been praised for conveying deep psychology and a sense of spirit, all in a single frame. Casteel came into the limelight last year when she had her biggest solo show at the New Museum in New York. She also created the portrait of fashion designer Aurora James, which was featured in the September issue of Vogue magazine. Casteel’s works will be included in the “Black American Portraits” survey at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art in November.
Art historian Nicole Fleetwood is perhaps best known for her 2020 MoMA PS1 exhibition “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration”. The critically acclaimed exhibition highlighted the issue of mass incarceration in the US, as well as various forms of oppression that are not talked about much. The exhibition featured artworks from various prison inmates, as well as some other artists.
Sculptor Daniel Lind-Ramos is famous for creating sculptures out of materials from Loíza, his hometown in Puerto Rico. Most of his works, while resembling fantastic, almost sci-fi figures, subtly express his experiences as a Black Puerto Rican man. He is best known for his 2019 Whitney Biennial installation. The sculpture, which vaguely resembles Virgin Mary, was also a reference to Hurricane Maria and the mismanagement of politicians in the relief works.
The MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowships are considered a prestigious recognition of artists who are masters of their respective fields. Each winner would receive $625,000 in grants from the MacArthur Foundation over the next five years.