Apollo Magazine

Martine Syms

Los Angeles

Martine Syms. Photo: Hedi Slimane

Los Angeles

Martine Syms works across many different mediums – publishing, moving image, photography, installation, performance and software programming – to interrogate what society expects of Black women and in particular, Black artists. Her film and video works often employ digital versions of herself – the conceptual sitcom series She Mad (2015–21) features Syms in the role of Martine, a graphic designer trying to gain a foothold in Los Angeles’ creative industry – Syms is based in the city – while in DED (2021) the artist’s digital avatar endures several gruesome deaths. Syms graduated from Bard College in 2017 and had a solo exhibition at MoMA in the same year. In 2022, she wrote and directed her first narrative feature film The African Desperate, which was released by MUBI; she was awarded a fellowship by the Guggenheim this year. Her work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2022), Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College (2022), Bergen Kunsthall (2021) and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2021).

See more 40 Under 40 USA Artists

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