Devan Shimoyama

Installation Views

b. 1989 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA

Devan Shimoyama (b. 1989, US) is a visual artist whose work explores depictions of the black, queer, male body. Through the medias of painting, sculpture, printmaking and installation, he creates compositions inspired by classical painters such as Francisco Goya, or Caravaggio. However, Shimoyama’s use of materials is distinctly contemporary, as is the subject matter he depicts. He has stated that he wants the figures in his work to be perceived as “both desirable and desirous.” He is aware of the politics of queer culture, and the ways in which those politics relate to black American culture. These elements come together in his works in a way that is both celebratory and complicated.
The celebratory aspects come through in his choice of materials, such as fur, feathers, glitter and costume jewels like rhinestones, and sequins. These materials endow the figures in the works with a sort of magical aura and joyful spirit. Yet, many of the men in Shimoyama’s works also literally have jewels in their eyes, giving them a mystified expression, interrupting the connection between their inner selves and the viewer, and suggesting a sort of silent suffering. Many also shed tears.


Shimoyama was awarded the Al Held Fellowship at the Yale School of Art in 2013 and has had a residency at the 2015 Fire Island Artist Residency. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States.

Solo / Two person Exhibitions

2021 Devan Shimoyama, upcoming exhibition, Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany

2019We Named Her Gladys, Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL

The Barbershop Project, CulturalDC, Washington, DC

Shh…, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY

2018Cry, Baby: Devan Shimoyama curated by Jessica Beck, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

2017Sweet, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY

Solo Booth @ PULSE Miami Beach w/ Samuel Freeman Gallery

Solo Booth @ Independent NY w/ Stems Gallery

2016 Solo Booth @ PULSE Miami Beach w/ Samuel Freeman Gallery

Myth and Body, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY

Devan Shimoyama, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY

Devan Shimoyama|Salamon Huerta, Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2015 Hocus Pocus, Bunker Projects, Pittsburgh, PA

Group Exhibitions

2020Translating Valence: redefining black male
identity, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, MI

Tell Me Your Story, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, Netherlands

Tell Me A Tale, Wentrup Gallery, Berlin, Germany

SIT STILL: Self-Portraits in the Age of Distraction, Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, NY, Curators Patty Horing and Deborah Brown

2019Geting to Know You, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH

The GAG, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY, Curators Devan Shimoyama

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, OH

Punch, Jeffery Deitch, Los Angeles, CA, Curator Nina Chanel Abney

2018LOVE 2018: Purple Hearts, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York, NY

Parallel Lives, Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL

2017Fictions, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

2016Bedazzled, Lehman College Gallery, Bronx, NY

The Soul of Black Art: A Collector’s View, Upfor Gallery, Portland, OR

Cultural Landscapes, The Fed Galleries at KCAD, Grand Rapids, MI

Introspective, BravinLee Programs, New York, NY

2015Love is Love, Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, CO

It Does and It Doesn’t, Alter Space, San Francisco, CA

UNLOADED, Northern Illinois University Art Museum, Dekalb, IL

Realities in Contemporary Video Art, Screening, Fondation des Etats Unis, Paris

PaperRoute 66, BravinLee Programs, New York, NY

2014People Staring, Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York, NY