Corey Pemberton: creature, comfort
Media Lab Gallery
Corey Pemberton (b. Reston, VA 1990, lives Los Angeles) has created new mixed-media work that shares an intimate glimpse into his world through the personal dwellings of friends and acquaintances, including people who feel marginalized. Pemberton says, “As humans we make assumptions about people based on things like race, gender expression, socioeconomic status, etc. but preconceived notions can be one dimensional and ultimately quite harmful. When you feel the world wants to ‘other’ you or put you in a certain box, home is often the only place where you feel safe and can truly be yourself.”
Pemberton’s work challenges stereotypes by depicting his subjects as everyday people doing everyday things. Materials like drywall mud, cork and bamboo are used alongside acrylic paint and photography to depict mundane activities: eating, visiting, resting, drinking coffee, lounging. Pemberton uses images of himself in several of the pieces and invites us to see ourselves in the work as well. He reminds us what a privilege it is to fit in and to feel a sense of belonging. People are never just one thing and individuality ought to be celebrated. However, it is important to make space for the othered to feel ordinary and relatable. To feel ordinary is a luxury.
These works are layered and complex, just like their subjects. Pemberton examines the depth of information we can learn about a person by being welcomed and present in their home. The objects we surround ourselves with are rich with personality and meaning. Pemberton’s work is an invitation to stay awhile and spend time with his subjects, making them relatable and intriguing.
6:05 at Morgan Hall, Mixed Media, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
Bursting Clouds, Mixed Media, 2018, Image courtesy of the artist
You could taste the love, Mixed media, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
Men at the baths, Mixed media, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
I have nothing to wear, Mixed media, 2018, Image courtesy of the artist
He was supposed to help her find her way (Mrs. Green), Mixed media, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
She was raised white, Mixed media, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
Tomorrow will be just as long, Mixed media, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
Zulu baskets, Blown glass, brass, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
Two toned vases, Blown glass, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
Flat out, Kiln formed glass, 2019, Image courtesy of CAM
AV Metro • Themeworks • RAD Graphics • The Hartfield Foundation •
Father & Son Antiques • CAM/now • Cheryl Lacy • David Chatt •
Leslie Noel • Holly Roberts • Sally Van Gorder • Olivia Christian •
Ella Ann and Frank B. Holding Foundation • Sheraton Downtown Raleigh •
Lewis R. Holding Fund of the NC Community Foundation •
Robert P. Holding Foundation • SureVest Insurance Group •
The Betty Eichenberger Adams Society
CAM’s education and community programs are funded by The Goodnight Education Foundation and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Museum Access for Kids is funded by the Carolina Hurricanes Kids N’ Communities Foundation. CAM’s Spanish Language Initiative is funded in part by Bank of America.
Accessibility initiatives are funded in part by The Jandy Ammons Foundation.
The CAM to GO Initiative is funded in part by The Asha and Sajjan Agarwal Foundation.