Make-Believe, which opens at American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center on September 10, 2022, explores artistic world-building and the crafting of alternate realities. The exhibition presents sculptures by Georgia Saxelby and paintings by Devan Shimoyama in the context of a post-pandemic world where fantasies and the imagination have played increasingly vital roles. Make-Believe considers the artists’ shared use of decoration, craft and visual pleasure, both using highly saturated, lustrous and reflective surfaces to blur the real and the imaginary.
The artists draw on cultural and aesthetic histories outside the fine art canon, such as, fashion, drag, cinema, animation, furniture, costume jewelry and interior design. These new bodies of work allow the artists to better understand the contributions of queer, black and women practitioners, as well as, the ways fantasy intersects with ideas of camp, queerness and femininity.