PULSE Miami Beach is thrilled to announce Tony Gum as the winner of the 2017 PULSE PRIZE. This jury-awarded cash grant has been given directly to an artist of distinction exhibiting within a solo presentation booth at every edition of PULSE since 2006.
Represented by the South African-based Christopher Moller Gallery, Gum offers considered perspectives to the meta-narratives of an ever-changing world through the series of five large portraits shown in her booth. Aptly entitled ‘Ode to She’, the artist’s latest work explores, and encapsulates the essence of what it means to be a Xhosa woman, a human expression of 'womanhood'.
“Through this work, I want to re-iterate the power and representation of each woman, acknowledging all the women I have encountered throughout my journey,” explains Gum. “I needed it to be a ‘poem’, a ‘song’, ‘a letter to she' … and I don’t mean ‘SHE’ in the gender confined or prescriptive sense. I speak of SHE, the Being, who understands HE/SHE to be a FORCE, like nature, a person who has been beaten, battered but is still able to rise.”
Gum was selected by a jury of expert curators that lead a strong force within the art world and beyond, including Lolita Cros, Independent Curator; Kathryn Mikesell, Founder of the Fountainhead Residency; Tommy Ralph Pace, Associate Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Roya Sachs, Curator of Lever House Art Collection and Artistic Director of Spring Place; and Piper Marshall, Curator and PhD student at Columbia University.
“PULSE Art Fair’s commitment to presenting solo artist projects provides critical exposure for young and under-recognized artists. It was an honor to work with this year’s jury to select the 2017 PULSE PRIZE winner,” Pace stated. Mikesell continued, “I was very happy to see the tremendous diversity in the artists represented and the mediums in which they worked.” Marshall added, “PULSE continues to be a laboratory of ideas.”