Chris Malone: GATHERING
May 6–July 30, 2023
355 POD Space Gallery
I started doll-making in 1992. When I first moved to Washington D.C, I came upon a shop called Angie’s Doll boutique in Alexandria, VA. The ladies in the shop asked if I was looking for my mother or my girlfriend? I replied that I was a doll maker and asked what I would need to start making dolls.
My recent work has evolved from representative doll making to metaphysical figurative sculptures. I believe my creations come from my unsettled African past, stemming from a history I never learned properly. When my ancestors came to this country chained in the belly of ships as cargo, they were taken away from their language, families, way of life; and this included their Gods. When I am creating my work, I’ll have the exotic fabric, beads, and feathers on a table in front of me and I let the Universe (spirit) guide me in what to do with it. I believe in part that my guidance in creativity is coming from my unknown ancestors… perhaps telling me stories that I have never heard, showing masks, and painted faces that I have never seen? Something mystical and spiritual comes to play that I get to manifest through my work.
Chris Malone is a self taught artist born and raised in the Midwest. Malone’s work is rooted in traditional African doll making but takes it a step further to use it as a medium to explore spirituality and ancestry. Creating these sculptures is a balance between imaginative play and spiritual practice. Malone currently resides in Washington DC. They have exhibited their work nation-wide including in New Orleans, New York, and Washington DC.
Image Credit: Chris Malone, Places I’ve Never Been, 2022