" 'The Abduction of Ganymede' is the title of many paintings throughout history. Many of them show this moment in the story in which Zeus (in the form of a large eagle) grabs Ganymede, a young boy, and the most beautiful mortal according to Homer, in order to take him as cupbearer to the gods in Olympus. Zeus and Ganymede's dynamic is complicated in that Ganymede had no say in the matter, nor any agency in his destiny but was objectified, stolen, and awarded immortality and an eternity of indentured servitude against his will. He later was turned into part of the constellation. However, the language the gods use would make it seem as though this position were an honor. I was interested in the relationship in that it was a story that helped to make male/male relationships socially acceptable in ancient Greece, but Plato claimed this entire story to be a complete myth to normalize one's "unnatural pleasures". In a way, I'm interested in how this painting celebrates queer love but also troubled by the consequences presented in the narrative. In my iteration of this moment, I've used my own body as a point of reference filling in for the role of Ganymede. I've changed the narrative from the titular character's original depiction of a caucasian male baby to my own adult, black queer male body intentionally to imbue the narrative with an agency for the protagonist. The cup he was given to serve has spilled over, flooding the sky with his own tears. I like to think that if he were to be taken, at least he'd have put up a fight." - Devan Shimoyama, 2019.
Acquired from De Buck Gallery, New York

June 29, 2020

Works for the Now, by Queer Artists of Color: Pride Month may be coming to a close, but the wide-ranging pieces shown here have staying power. | The New York Times Style Magazine | The New York Times Style Magazine


July 23, 2020

Dazzling Paintings Reimagine Black Masculinity | Artsy | Daria Harper


1 February 2022

Devan Shimoyama: All the Rage | Hatje Cantz | Adriano Sack and Evan Moffitt


Jul 21, 2022

Africa First! Serge Tiroche | Art Africa


19 November, 2022

When We See Us- A Century of Black Figuration in Painting | British Library Cataloguing | Zeitz Mocca