Miguel Angel Payano Jr. is an Afro-Caribbean American artist working between Beijing and New York. Informed by the unlikely intersection of American, Caribbean and Chinese cultures, he investigates themes such as human socialization, identity-formation and gestalt applying a style shifting visual vernacular to create works that span the spectrum between painting and sculpture.
2019 Glitter, acrylic, aluminum, spray paint, curtain tassels, hot glue, blue foam, gloves, cotton, condoms, condom wrappers, money, pills, shoes, cell phone, compact discs, computer wiring, cell phone chips, silicon key board cover, bottle caps, Hawaiian nut shells, faux bananas, banana gun, toy gun, candy, fur tail, inhaler, Longan pits, beer cans, cigar tube, bathroom matt, gourd, screws, plastic gears, butt plug on canvas 15 x 400 x 600 cm / 5 7/8 x 157 1/2 x 236 1/4 in (excluding branches)
Miguel's transcultural surrealist sensibilities bind humor, beauty with the grotesque and disturbing. Until recently Payano had been primarily based in China where he has lived since 2003. He has also exhibited in Europe, Southeast Asia and the US. His works are in major collections in China and Italy.
2019 Glitter, faux wool, faux fur, baby shoes, gloves, comb, aluminum wire, hot glue, blue foam, plaster gauze, dollar bill, half a joint, acrylic on canvas 15 x 80 x 75 cm / 5 7/8 x 31 1/2 x 29 1/2 in
2019 Acrylic, oil and touch of glitter on canvas 4 x 50 x 50 cm / 1 5/8 x 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 in (each)
Miguel Payano: This was the third piece, which is collage and a little bit of painting. It’s called “Far Out,” it’s made of baby shoe faces on the apes or specifically monkeys here, and they’re all engaged in substances or the suggested use of substances. This one is smoking a little half joint. And it’s also, again, escaping the frames of the canvas. This one is doing a bit of coke.
Joachim Pissarro: And you should tell everyone that in China, if you get caught with a gram, it’s a pretty severe punishment.
Miguel Payano: If you’re selling or trafficking, you’re going to get in big trouble. You could probably get the death penalty. But if it’s small amounts, you know, and you’re a Chinese national, you’ll go to jail for a little bit. And if you’re a foreigner you’ll be expelled out of the country permanently.
The annual Spring 2020 Thesis Exhibition for graduates of the Hunter College MFA Studio Art program represents works by 19 artist graduates of this nationally noted program. Originally planned as a series of physical presentations at Hunter’s 205 Hudson Street campus in Tribeca, but canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MFA Thesis Exhibition’s digital iteration aims to provide a new, expanded platform for young artists entering the field.