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The New Yorker

Elizabeth Colomba’s “157 Years of Juneteenth”

The artist discusses Harlem and the necessity of painting Black bodies into historically white spaces.

Sunday, June 19th, will mark a hundred and fifty-seven years since the U.S. Army General Gordon Granger announced to the people of Galveston, Texas, that slavery was over. Granger’s announcement came in 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. And it is in that delay, in the “vast chasm between the concept of freedom inscribed on paper and the reality of freedom in our lives,” the New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb has written, that the true meaning of Juneteenth was and continues to be found. “In that regard,” Cobb added, “Juneteenth exists as a counterpoint to the Fourth of July; the latter heralds the arrival of American ideals, the former stresses just how hard it has been to live up to them.” We talked to the artist Elizabeth Colomba about what inspired her first cover for the magazine.

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Art News

At Elizabeth Colomba’s Debut Museum Show, Black Women Are Finally Getting Their Due

By the time she was six years old, French artist Elizabeth Colomba already had dreams of becoming a painter. The daughter of immigrants from Martinique, she gleefully declared to her mother that she would follow in the footsteps of Picasso after reading about the famed artist in a Parisian newspaper.

New York City is getting a new infusion of artwork thanks to the Tribeca Festival Since then, she has spent most of her life devoted to painting. In her works, she portrays Black historical characters in the affluent settings from which they were traditionally excluded or erased. Her goal is to paint Black people as they never have been depicted before in art history.

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The Hollywood Reporter

Now on display: 'Art is New York/New York is Art,'...

... an initiative designed to celebrate 20 years of the Tribeca Festival Art Awards and artists supporting other artists while also helping to beautify the city as it reemerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York City is getting a new infusion of artwork thanks to the Tribeca Festival and Chanel.

The two partnered on Art Is New York/New York Is Art, an initiative designed to celebrate 20 years of the Tribeca Festival Art Awards and artists supporting other artists while also helping to beautify the city as it reemerges from the COVID-19 pandemic...

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The Philadelphia Inquirer

For ‘Taking Space’ at PAFA, women artists are as monumental as they want to be

... A stunningly detailed, large-scale watercolor by Elizabeth Colomba places a Black female protagonist at the center of a scene of 19th century European aristocracy and leisure... 

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NPR
In One Art Exhibition, Women Are 'Taking Space' They've Long Deserved

...Finally, from the 62 objects in "Taking Space," Elizabeth Colomba is putting different faces in old-fashioned trappings. She says her watercolor Riding Places is "taking what has been historical space, and making room for representation of black actors."

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INSTYLE

Classically Trained Painter Elizabeth Colomba Paints the Women Art History Ignored

Badass Women celebrates women who show up, speak up, and get things done.

Profile by Jennifer Mason.

Classically Trained Painter Elizabeth Colomba Paints the Women Art History Ignored.

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VOGUE
Painter Elizabeth Colomba Is Giving Art’s Hidden Figures Their Close-Up

Profile by Dodie Kazanjian in the October 2018 issue.

Elizabeth Colomba"s elaborately detailed paintings are beautifully subversive: revisiting black figures in art history and placing them center stage.

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UBIKWIST

​... Colomba generates a space for a subjects to inhabit - the re-writing of their history. In that sense, she analyses the construction of identity and the tangled interrelationship between past and present in our collective identity today.

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NEW YORK MAGAZINE
Tour an Artist’s Light Filled Parisian Style Studio in Harlem By Sarah Trigg

With a traditional easel at her studio’s center, Colomba cites the Old Masters as inspiration: “My favorite museum is the Louvre — all those classical paintings and the mastery of it brought me to painting.” And of her decision to move to New York: “It’s a return home, really. New York — it’s more like Paris.”

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THE HUFFINGTON POST
Painter Makes Beautiful Past for Black Women

With a traditional easel at her studio’s center, Colomba cites the Old Masters as inspiration: “My favorite museum is the Louvre — all those classical paintings and the mastery of it brought me to painting.” And of her decision to move to New York: “It’s a return home, really. New York — it’s more like Paris.”

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THE NEW YORKER
Goings on about town

​The inaugural show at this new Harlem gallery is by the New York-based Martinican painter, whose opulent portraits of black women redress the erasures of women of color in nineteenth-century art history. At times, Colomba favors direct quotation; in one picture here, she depicts a model who appears in a Marie-Guillemine Benoist portrait from 1800. At other times, she prefers channelling; she has clearly made close study of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Colomba’s portraits of long-haired maidens can turn vaporous, but her best pictures—a portrait of a contemplative teen-ager with an arrow in her hand, a still-life with pineapple—are lush, ardent, and inspiring.

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TRUE AFRICA
The Black Women That History Forgot

Artist Ayana V. Jackson interviews fellow artist Elizabeth Colomba and New York based curator Monique Long.

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Through the Heart
INTENSE ART MAGAZINE
Strange Fruit: ‘The Pineapple Show’

​‘The Pineapple Show’ is the strange story of an atypical protagonist, the pineapple, which is not allowed to express its own desires. It is used as a vehicle to project human consciousness and history, from the inane to the downright absurd.

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THE BHOLDR
The Moon is My Only Luxury

​Elizabeth Colomba's (born in Paris and based in Harlem, NY) new show, "The Moon Is My Only Luxury" (curated by Monique Long), challenges the historical stories of black women and dives into their moments of solitude.

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