Please Note: "Studio Visit" will be archived as of March 15, 2018 and will no longer be publicly accessible.

Valerie Piraino

Studio Building
Studio Interior
Studio Location
Go to Seed (Tar Papaya), 2014, 4 ½ x 5 x 9 ¾ inches, polystyrene, epoxy clay, sawdust, paint.
Juicy, 2014, 5 1/8 x 4 ¼ x 5 ¾ inches, polystyrene, epoxy clay, paint, resin.
Sweet Tropical Edibles, 2014, 6 ¼ x 4 ½ x 4 ½ inches, polystyrene, epoxy clay, paint, resin.
Befouled (Hanging Banana Flower), 2014, 16 1/2 x 5 x 15 3/4 inches, polystyrene, epoxy clay, paint, resin, string.
Bad Seed, 2014, 4 x 5 x 8 inches, polystyrene, epoxy clay, paint.
Artist's Statement

Working in sculpture, installation, and drawing, I look to my transnational background as a point of departure to explore transnational identity. My most recent body of work references tropical fruit, organic rock forms, and Afro pop culture. These new sculptures and drawings use papayas as a proxy for the landscapes and bodies of the Global South. How have these bodies been colonized, sexualized, co-opted, and destroyed? How have these bodies been consumed and continue to be consumed in the Global South and in America?

Photo credits: Pierre Le Hors


Valerie Piraino (b. 1981 Kigali, Rwanda) received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004 and her MFA from Columbia University in 2009. Residencies include the Studio Museum in Harlem (2009-2010) and LMCC Process Space (2015). She was nominated for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant in 2011 and 2012. Recent exhibitions and commissions include Art in the Embassies (Vatican City and Mbabane, Swaziland), Retreat, Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL (2014), Round 39: Looking Back, Moving Forward at Project Row Houses, Houston, TX (2013), Present Future at Artissima, Turin, Italy (2013), Reconstruction at Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN (2013), and Fore at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2012). She lives and works in New York City.