The custodian, artist advocate, art advisor and sometime muse, Destinee Ross-Sutton posted a portrait of rapper Lil Nas X on her Instagram. The portrait is created by the Ghanaian artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe that had just fetched US$137,500 at a Philips auction in New York.
The Harlem, N.Y.-born Ross-Sutton already had her portrait painted by artists stars Amoako Boafo and Kehinde Wiley at the age of 25. Derrick Adams has inspired them to include colourful and long braids in the painting.
About Destinee Ross-Sutton
Ross-Sutton grew up in a family with seven siblings. Her love for art nurtured at the progressive schools she attended as a child, and by a desire to do good deeds to the world.
Although she majored in journalism at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, she started to focus on the arts after a photography lesson showed the “power art can have”. She learned about how Black artists navigate the art world when she offered ideas for how to shape art exhibitions.
She said people always try to pay low prices for any artists. However, it is different with Black artists because of the history of exploitation of Black labour.
How she outshines the art of Black people
Ross-Sutton has curated a selling exhibition titled “Say It Loud, (I’m Black and I’m Proud),”. This selling exhibition awards 100% of sales proceeds to the artists and included a baseline contract to prevent buyers from auction their purchased work for at least five years.
With her fearless conviction of protecting legacies of Black artists, she succeeded in lifting them into public consciousness.
She also advises collectors like television actor Hill Harper in Detroit to buy works by artists from Africa and the African diaspora. Besides, she also curated “Black Voices/Black Microcosm,”. It is a commendment exhibition of around 30 Black artists at Stockholm’s CFHill Art Space.
Moreover, Ross-Sutton also co-curated a pop-up show at Frieze New York in May 2018. In the show, she spent time exploring how women, especially women of colour are portrayed in the arts.
In just less than a year, Ross-Sutton organized a virtual gallery on VorticXR. It purposed to do pop-up physical exhibitions in various cities and countries. Moreover, she also launched a U.S.-based exhibition titled “Black Voices: Friend of Mind”. The exhibition has gathered works by 30 Black artists on the theme of respite and self-indulgence.
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