devan shimoyama in the mobile art gallery


Hosted by Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Ave SE)

May 4-August 2019

CulturalDC, in collaboration with Devan Shimoyama and Barber of Hell’s Bottom, will transform the Mobile Art Gallery into a fantastical, fully-functional barbershop, offering free haircuts to the community.

While the gallery will serve as a hub for the larger conversation, CulturalDC will solicit satellite programming – poetry, theatre performances, music, dance, photography, etc. – to present a holistic view of a storied cultural institution.


Devan Shimoyama is a Philadelphia-born painter and professor at Carnegie Mellon University. His work challenges cliché with daring and personal representations of the complexities of race and sexuality. In his recent barbershop paintings, Shimoyama transforms the hyper-masculine social space into queer fantasy where feminine glamour and fashion take over, and tender depictions of boys don floral capes and glitter-encrusted hair.

Shimoyama creates two distinct worlds—one an enchanted paradise, the other a queer imagining of the African American barbershop. Celebrated for fraternity and community, Shimoyama presents the barbershop as a space where young men and boys can feel shamed and vulnerable.

He has exhibited throughout the United States, including at De Buck Gallery, Lesley Heller Gallery, and Kravets Wehby Gallery in New York, NY; Samuel Freeman Gallery and Zevitas Marcus Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; Alter Space, San Francisco, CA; Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, CO; and internationally at Frieze London and in Realities in Contemporary Video Art at the Fondation des Etats Unis, in Paris, France.

Shimoyama has been featured in publications such as The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, New American Paintings (Volume 105 & 116), Vice, Creators Project, Filthy Dreams, and Saatchi Art’s ‘Best of 2014’. His debut solo museum exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum entitled Cry, Baby runs through October 13, 2018 to March 17, 2019.


Interested in supporting The Barbershop Project? Contact Executive Director Kristi Maiselman.