Onnissia is a provocative visual artist boldly using sexuality and intimacy as an art form. Her boldly styled silhouettes are designed to portray shameless depictions of underrepresented people that are confident in expressing their sexuality and vulnerability.
Onnissia is an Afro-Jamaican American who grew up in Los Angeles, CA with her mother and sister. Her mother's influence of boldness and shamelessness are core values that were instilled at an early age and resonate as a clear voice in Onnissia's creative work. She currently resides in Kansas City, MO, the USA where she's represented by The Smalter Gallery and a partner with BlkArthouse.
A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
My name is Onnissia (oh nee see yuh) and I create art that gives you pause. My bright and boldly styled figurative art depicts unapologetic bodies that are vulnerable and shameless in their sexual expression and intimacy. My provocative art aggressively challenges censorship and the feelings of guilt and shame that society expects us to feel around our bodies and sexuality. I’m a Black emerging artist with a rapidly developing career in the Midwestern region of the US. I am currently based in Kansas City, MO with representation at one of the few galleries in the region audacious enough to showcase my art without restrictions. The purpose of my art is to unpack shame and censorship about women and queer sexuality. I draw my influence from my mother, a woman who hadn’t an ounce of shame in her body. Because of my upbringing, I find my values clashing with the social pressure to reduce myself and feel shame for existing. The status quo demands women and queer folk to shrink, reduce and feel guilt around our sexuality and identity. I create to provoke and challenge the notion that we are shameful and therefore must be hidden or be rejected. I say we are enough, we have nothing to be ashamed of, we are proud, we deserve to be celebrated.
My goal is to push the envelope on why we feel shame around sexuality and intimacy. My art has at times been called vulgar. I pose the question, why? Who defines what is vulgar and why do we choose to believe them? I want to prod into how much of our repression is learned. I currently live in a conservative and sexually repressed region of the U.S, so it’s difficult to showcase my art because of the nature of my work even though what I paint is incredibly normal. Even though my art is visually appealing, I am often met with restrictions on how and where I can exhibit my work. This is how my journey has brought me to you. I want to showcase my art with your gallery and present these challenges to a larger audience that is currently beyond my reach. I’ve made a name for myself as an artist in this region of the U.S, but I want to do this at a global level, and Haze Gallery is the perfect place to introduce my art to a world that needs it.
P R E S S
NOVEMBER 2020 ARTE REPORTAGE DOCUMENTARY: SPÉCIAL USA LA ROUTE DE LA FRACTURE FEATURED ARTIST, DOCUMENTARY
NOVEMBER 2020 - PITCH KC - BEST OF 2020 KC FINALIST FOR BEST LOCAL ARTIST
NOVEMBER 2020 - PITCH KC - BEST OF 2020 KC FINALIST FOR BEST ART EXHIBITION
SEPTEMBER 2020 - UMKC NEWS, “BLACK ART, J.C NICHOLS, AND A TRUMP PARADE” FEATURED ARTIST, KANSAS CITY
AUG. 2020 - THE KC INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE, “ART SCENE” FEATURED ARTIST, KANSAS CITY
APRIL 2020 - THE ADF MAGAZINE, “FOUR UP AND COMING KANSAS CITY ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW” FEATURED ARTIST, TOKYO, JAPAN
FALL 2019 - THE IDLE CLASS MAGAZINE, “THE VISUAL ARTS ISSUE” COVER ART & FEATURED ARTIST, FAYETTEVILLE, AR