A Conversation with Artist Nia Imani Winslow: Get to Know One of Brooklyn’s Most Engaging Emerging Artists

By Gabé Hirschowitz

Gabé: What’s your earliest memory of creating art?
Nia Imani Winslow: My earliest memory of creating art is in grade school, as a child, in art class.

Gabé: What unexpected experiences/ ideas/ things inspire you?

Nia Imani Winslow: My work is usually inspired by everyday life. I see an experience or a photograph, and I think about how I am able to recreate it via the medium in which I practice.

Gabé: Describe your process: what unique things do you have to do to make the work happen?

Nia Imani Winslow: I think the way that I encounter the creative process is fairly simplistic, and a lot of it happens in my head first. I visualize how I would like a particular piece to turn out and I find paper (magazines), other materials and colors that would help me achieve what I have envisioned in my mind.

Gabé: How would you characterize your artistic esthetic–in five words?

Nia Imani Winslow: Colorful, bold, vibrant, and simple, yet complex.

Gabé: You are deserted on a remote planet; what three things do you need to keep your sanity?

Nia Imani Winslow: My favorite music, access to an archive of images, and my cat, Nola (even though, technically, she’s not a thing).

Gabé: Who influences you creatively?

Nia Imani Winslow: Creatively, I am influenced by people who look like me, so Black people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. As far as artists are concerned, I’m forever inspired by the works of Romare Bearden, Kerry James Marshall, Jacob Lawrence, and Bisa Butler.

Gabé: If you had a time machine, which period in art history would you visit and why?

Nia Imani Winslow: I think we’re currently experiencing a really exciting time for art and artists, especially artists of color, so if I did have a time machine to go back in time to experience a period in art history, I wouldn’t.

Gabé: What’s the best exhibition/show you’ve ever seen (not including your own)?

Nia Imani Winslow: Three of the most powerful exhibitions I’ve seen are “A Subtlety” by Kara Walker, located in the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in July, 2014, “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry” at the Met Museum in NYC in December, 2016, and “Black models: from Géricault to Matisse” at musée d’Orsay in Paris, France in May, 2019.

Gabé: What three living artists would you like to have a group show with?

Nia Imani Winslow: Bisa Butler, Kerry James Marshall and Khari Turner.

Gabé: What would you be doing right now if you weren’t an artist?

Nia Imani Winslow: I love fashion and style–which I believe is an artform in and of itself–and there are certain aspects of fashion and style I like to incorporate into my artwork. Aside from working in the fashion industry, I would say working at a non-profit and/or social service organization.

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