Originally based in Atlanta, Nikita Gale is an artist making a name for herself in America’s burgeoning and increasingly diverse art scenes on both the East and West coasts.
Currently pursuing an MFA in New Genres at UCLA, Gale is trained in archaeology, anthropology and advertising; she consistently utilises elements from her multidisciplinary background in her work as a conceptual artist. Dialoguing frequently with the traditional constructions of consumer and producer, Gale expresses an interest in the way ideologies of history and capitalism are consumed by individuals:
“I have cultivated a practice that explores the relationship between material culture, identity, and language, specifically how identity is mediated through material, sound, desire and language.”
An artist working with photography, text, video, installation, and performance, it is hard to pin down exactly what Gale’s artistic style is – she describes her work as “heuristic, interdisciplinary, and research-based”:
“My practice incorporates elements from my own lived experience with elements culled from varied sources: reality television, queer hip hop, the work of Wittgenstein, hooks, Foucault and Debord, film (especially ‘anti-narrative’ films), and themes surrounding black/queer subjectivity.”
Projects have included ‘Everything & More’, ‘Autographs’ and ‘The Objective Mutability of Certainty’, all utilising language and text to different ends. Gale expresses an interest in language as our primary means of communication in spite of the fact that it is consistently problematic, exploring the link between text and the communication of identity in ‘Autographs’, and the relationship between time and knowledge in ‘The Objective Mutability of Certainty’. ‘Everything & More’ was an early series of large scale photographic sculptures putting together lettering from Times Square signage, effectively highlighting promises commonly used to entice customers through advertising.
Despite a lack of formal art training prior to the MFA she is currently undertaking, Gale has exhibited widely since 2009, and was recently named one of Complex’s young black creatives making waves in the art world – definitely one to watch.