PULSE Contemporary Art Fair is excited to announce that Tony Gum has received the 2017 Miami Beach PULSE PRIZE, a jury-awarded, cash grant of $2,500 given directly to an artist of distinction, exhibiting in a SOLO booth at the fair.
For the thirteenth edition of PULSE Miami Beach, led by the fair’s new director, Katelijne De Backer, (previously The Armory Show, Art Miami, Aqua Art Miami, and Lehmann Maupin), Tony 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.” and Marshall added, “PULSE continues to be a laboratory of ideas”.
Represented by the South African-based Christopher Moller Gallery, a returning PULSE Miami Beach exhibitor, 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, intuitively completed at the beginning of South Africa’s 2017 commemorations of women’s month (celebrated on the 9th August locally each year) 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 reiterate the power and representation of each woman, acknowledging all the women I have encountered throughout my journey.”, explains the artist. “So 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”.
Based in Cape Town, South African artist Tony Gum (b. 1996) is guided by the freedom, language and rhythm of life that is art. Tony Gum’s often minimalist, yet considered, approach to story-telling, translated onto canvas has, to date, informed her distinctive evolutionary journey. Vogue named Gum “The Coolest Girl in Cape Town” and with over 40k followers on Instagram, Gum’s story is certainly being broadcast to a wide audience.
The nominees for the 2017 PULSE PRIZE included artists JoAnne Carson (Black & White Gallery / Project Space), Cristobal (
Tony Gum joins a list of notable past winners including most recently Devan Shimoyama of Samuel Freeman Gallery who presented an immersive installation of multi-disciplinary works at PULSE Miami Beach 2016.
Writing via press release and photographs provided by Pulse Art Fair.