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.
He was supposed to help her find her way (Mrs. Green), Mixed media, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist
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
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