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Brianna McCarthy

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Brianna McCarthy is a self-taught multi-media artist from Trinidad and Tobago. At University, she studied English and French literature. She has also completed her Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) certification in Visual Arts. She lives and works in Trinidad and Tobago.

Her work explores the themes of beauty, stereotypes, and representation through masking, performance art, fabric collage, traditional media, and installation pieces . Her exploration of race and gender are expressed through her depictions of Black girls and women, specifically Creole and West Indian women.


After Colours[edit]

Exhibited at the Medulla Art Museum in Trinidad and Tobago from March 15 through March 29, After Colours explores the topic of “shadism” or colorism in Trinidad and the throughout the Globe. Mccarthy began the work after receiving pamphlets in the mail advertising a skin bleaching product; Mccarthy states that she found the pamphlet's messaging of “value tied in with lightened skin” to be dangerous and harmful . After Colours explores the association between value and skin tone as well as hair texture through representation of female faces and forms. Through research on social media platforms like Tumblr and use of her personal experiences, McCarthy explored shadism and texturism through colorful portraiture, cloth dolls, and billboard advertisements. The exhibition was a culmination of 5 months of work meant to represent black female beauty “in a possible future, where race markers and shade have lost their status” (guardian. tto) After Colours was featured as a part of the Erotic Art Week of Trinidad and Tobago.

Saints and Jumbies[edit]

Exhibited at the Medulla Art Museum from May 22nd to June 15th, 2013, Saints and Jumbies explores Black feminity and beauty post AfterColours. She depicts saints and jumbies, spirits of dead people, through stitchery and jawing. She shies away from representing these women within the dichotomy of good/evil, stating that “there is no waman in this collection who isn’t at least a little bit dangerous” in an interview with Arc the Magazine. Her representations of Saints and Jumbies allows for a multidimensional representation of Caribbean women, offering up rage instead of hopefulness which she states can be beautiful and naïve.


Cc: Everybody was completed in collaboration with artist Rodell Warner, a Trinidadian photographer and new media artist. The work is described as “an exploration of the modern dichotomy and interrelation between our public and private spaces.” McCarthy's contribution to the work was reproduction of real classified ads taken from newspapers as big colorful signs. Examples of the advertisements on these signs include “SINGLE FAIR FEMALE LOOKING FOR CAUCASIAN MALE FOR RELATIONSHIP” and “THREE MIXED GIRLS NEEDED, MASSAGES AND ESCORTS (DAILY PAID).” In her interview with the Medulla museum McCarthy outlines the importance of skin tone in self-image stating the following: “When you are called on to advertise yourself, it’s interesting then the words we choose to use. The first word is the color of your skin.” Cc: Everybody was showcased at the Trinidad and Tobago Erotic Art Week in both 2010 and 2011.


In addition to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian articles written on McCarthy, her work has been recognized through Caribbean archival websites . McCarthy's work is cited in Creative Caribbean Network, an virtual platform initiative created by PUMA to connect Caribbean creatives with creatives outside of the Caribbean. “Afro-Caribbean women have been portrayed as strong, long-suffering, exoticised, and picturesque beings against a backdrop of poverty, hardship… Her (McCarthy) work exposes a new range of depth and emotions, which for the most part, are non existent in our recorded culture” (CreativeCaribbean Network.)

Her work has also been featured in various publications listing Black female artists, including the journalism/storytelling platform for Black women forharriet. In the article “For Harriet -10 contemporary black women visual artists you should know” , McCarthy's work is recognized for its role in the representation of Black caribbean women and beauty.


 “June 2010.” Summer Edward | Official Website,
 28/04/15 at 21:42 pm by admin. “Brianna McCarthy, Trinidad.” AFRICANAH.ORG, 29 Apr. 2015,
 “DO YOU. BE YOU. - The Art of Brianna McCarthy.” NarrativeNortheast,


Detnator. “Brianna McCarthy: Medulla I After Colour. Youtube

 Arc. “Brianna McCarthy.” ARC Magazine Contemporary Caribbean Visual Art Culture,
 Al­leyne, Ten­nille. “You Are Beautiful However You Are.” Trinidad Guardian,

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