Painter Genesis Tramaine Is Transforming What It Means to Make Religious Art

By Daria Harper
Birth of a Nation, 2018 Richard Beavers Gallery
Genesis Tramaine’s paintings invite viewers on a journey far beyond the walls of a gallery. Tramaine, best known for her complex depictions of Black people’s faces, describes her intricate portraits as portals. Each painting is imbued with undeniable spirit, reflected in the intricate dance of her brushstrokes. One painting, Joy Comes In The Morning (2020), shows an oval-shaped face layered with various expressions against an ominous blue background that mimics the night sky. The word “amen” is etched along the bottom corner of the canvas. In a recent interview, Tramaine said that it took her a while to confidently and openly discuss how her faith shows up in her artwork. But now, after much reflection, prayer, and praise, she has no problem claiming the divinity that is so integral to her practice. In fact, she celebrates it. [More]
Portrait of Genesis Tramaine by Nick JS Thompson. Courtesy of the artist.

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