Dominican-American artist Firelei Báez, whose monumental installation at the 10th Berlin Biennial and concurrent solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem continue to receive international acclaim, is interested in how culture and identity are shaped by inher-ited histories. Her work reveals the incom-plete nature of our communal stories, con-structing more egalitarian social narratives, so a more equitable future might emerge.
Portraiture is a key aspect of Báez’s work. She sees the human body as the most direct link between artist, viewer, and subject. Across the mediums of painting, sculpture, drawing and installation, she layers strong, confident, imaginative portraits of Afrodiasporic figures over physical and conceptual echoes of the past. In her portraits, aspects of her personal identity are evident, revealing the intense personal connection Báez feels to the stories she is telling.