Dominic Chambers’s idyllic painting Window Sitter debuted in the exhibition Realms of Refuge at Kavi Gupta in 2021. The painting depicts a single Black figure peering out into a warm and luminescent cloudscape, continues the artist’s examination of leisure, magical realism, and the Black subject.
The interior space, painted in various chromatic temperatures of black, consumes the majority of the composition whilst the primary light source enters the space from the exterior. The visual concerns and compositional elements of the painting are reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s Morning Sun Painting (1952) and Kerry James Marshall’s painting Untitled, (2018). Similar to Hopper’s painting the subject looks out into the window, however, Instead of the depiction of industrial architecture, the view outside of the window is a luminous cloudscape.
“Often for Black people, specifically those on the lower economic ladder, the act of peering out of the window is a precarious experience,” says Chambers, “a reminder of the disparaging conditions in which one lives. In some cases looking out of the window also provides a glimpse into the spectacle of trauma—Police brutality, drug houses, gang violence, etc—that is a consistent occurrence in such environments. My aim is to provide a scene of a Black subject peering out of the window and into a space where one’s circumstances (political or environmental) cease to be a concern. The view beyond the window is one that provides an opportunity for introspection and reimagining what is possible. To quote Donna Summer: ‘Write your name across the sky.’”