Reginald Sylvester II creates works that trigger provoking and often disconcerting topics such as race, sexuality, religion and spirituality through deconstructed, dramatized forms that oscillate between abstraction and figuration. When asked about his process, Sylvester II states, “The work embodies figuration through abstraction. My energy is transferred onto the surface while the imagery is streamed from my subconscious, which I believe is the soul.”
Deeply personal yet universal in its scope, his works often display scenes of premonition, lust or torment – all laden with connotations reflecting the state of the world today, as well as the artist’s own sense of vertigo when facing his predictions for the future.
Sylvester II’s imagery lays bare the alchemy of the artist’s interior world, personal journey and parallel universe. Acting as a conduit to another realm of consciousness, Sylvester II engages both with his work and with the world at large through his personal faith.
When discussing the body of work at his solo show entitled “Premonition” at The Lever House Art Collection in New York, the artist explains “The biblical references function as visual language within the work. God is a huge part of my life so it's nearly impossible for me to create without referencing his word. The repetitive grid-like imagery relates to digital culture but on a deeper note to the feeling of entrapment. The feeling of truly being free versus not being free is a reoccurring conversation within myself. This body of work definitely speaks on the state of the world, as we know it. Specifically speaking to the present and the future, and to how the scriptures relate to that.”
Sylvester II was born in Jacksonville (North Carolina) in 1987. He grew up in Oakland, California and attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, studying graphic design. He is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, where he lives and works.
Sylvester II has had numerous international solo exhibitions presented by Maximillian William in London, New York and Tokyo. He has also been the subject of a solo show at Pace Prints, New York and has exhibited at the Fondazione Stelline (Milan 2017), where is work is currently held in the Institution’s public collection. Recently, Sylvester II has been part of a group show at Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai and is the subject of a solo exhibition at The Lever House Art Collection in New York.