Richard Beavers Gallery is proud to present Hebrew Boys: Portals of Faith, a solo exhibition by artist Genesis Tramaine. This body of work explores the Biblical book of Daniel were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishal, and Azaria (later and better known as Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego) are laid captive in Babylon. Rejecting authoritarian orders of idolatry by reaffirming their religious beliefs and culture, the men are thrown into a finery furnace and emerge, without harm. With this being her second solo exhibition with the gallery, Tramaine debuts a series of paintings and new participatory art installation works that draw viewers in for an introspective dialogue with her work.
Gesturally articulated in this latest body of work, Tramaine individually depicts the resilient faith of each of these young men in what Tramaine calls “Portrait Portal,” or visages that are windows into our collective history that often direct the trajectory of our future. Using traditional West African storytelling techniques, Tramaine employs coded forms and symbology to capture the past and present spirit to transmit narratives of ancestral language, culture, and wisdom. “I pray to God in the name of Yeshua to be a vessel, though unworthy I am willing to surrender to the Holy Spirit,” Tramaine proclaims. “It’s only then that I’m able to be used to deliver a message.”
Tramaine’s visual narrations are often much more about the process of creation, as they are about the stories themselves. She often refers to her work as manifestations of her prayers expressed, the artist’s imbues and immutable faith. “My entire painting process is a testament to my faith in God. Each painting holds its own testimony,” said Tramaine who grew up in Lafayette Garden Housing in Brooklyn, NY. “The story of Daniel and the ‘Hebrew Boys’ as told biblically, has helped to restore my faith in days of doubt or hardship. It also encouraged me to completely surrender to God’s will.”
The work invites viewers to travel in time through the unyielding faith of the Hebrew brothers affectionately known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Tramaine evokes her love of God by bridging the past and present to inspire others to speak truth to power and defending who you are and what you believe.