Tajh Rust describes the work he created for Palm Springs Art Museum:
"These paintings use portraiture to explore relationships to physical and psychological spaces. The subjects of the paintings are seen waiting, contemplating, and considering.
Whether the gaze meets the viewer's or rests on something unseen by us, we are met with a range of emotions and are left to imagine what the people in the paintings may be thinking. There are recurring motifs of doubling, whether through reflections or shadows, that are facilitated by the presence of water and glass.
The windows in the paintings suggest spaces beyond but also enclose the space of the paintings. Water and specifically floods are a presence that disrupts. The flood can be read as literal or metaphorical, an allusion to the transatlantic history that ties all these stories together.
The references for the paintings are from my recent travels to Brazil and Senegal, and my home community in New York. I have been interested in painting the people I meet and finding emotional connections across the Black diaspora."
Based in New York, Tajh Rust received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2011 and his MFA from Yale University in 2019. He participated in the inaugural Black Rock Senegal residency in 2019.
Outburst Projects are small-format exhibitions that artists typically create following a residency at Palm Springs Art Museum. The program is designed to support creative exploration, allowing artists to experiment with new bodies of work.