Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

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Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle.jpg
Hinkle in 2016
Born1987 (age 32–33)

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (born 1987) is an American artist and Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkeley Department of Art Practice, who focuses on questions of race, sexuality, and history through a variety of visual and textual mediums.[1] She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.[2] Notable works include the Kentifrica project,[3] the Tituba series, The Evanesced, and the Uninvited series.[4][5][6][7] She is a member of CTRL+SHFT Collective in Oakland, CA.[8][9][10]

Early life[edit]

Hinkle was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1987. She is of Kentifrica descent, and she has created artworks around this part of her identity.[11] Hinkle was inspired by her mother, herself an artist, who, due to the fact that they lived in the segregated South, was unable to pursue her creative identity. Hinkle's mother enforced the idea of "powerful self-possession" into her, which is why Hinkle does not shy away from tough issues in the world.[12]


Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle studied painting (BFA) at Maryland Institute College of Art and writing (MFA) at California Institute of the Arts.[13] She studied at the AICAD New York Studio Program, Brooklyn, NY from 2008 to 2009. She was a US Fulbright Fellow in Lagos Nigeria from 2015–2016.[14]


Hinkle was the youngest artist in the Made in LA Biennial. Her work, both performed and presented, has been featured in the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California, Project Row Houston in Houston, Texas, The California African American Museum,[15] and The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York.[11]

In 2014, Kenyatta and six other black women created and led an event called call and response where each artist bought an object and explained what the object meant to them. Kenyatta also led a panel with the question "Kentifrica is or Kentifrica ain't?" Students, faculty at the Antioch University also presented the research they found on Kentifrica. [16]

Style and themes[edit]

By recreating artifacts, sharing narratives, and customs from research archives, I am able to reconstruct a Kentifrican identity.

— Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

"[Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle's] work investigates race, sexuality and history using historical objects in visual and performance art constructs." [17]

It is essential to understand Kentifrican culture in order to understand Hinkle as an artist. This culture places great value and emphasis on the community, which can be seen in the ways Hinkle assembles objects together to interrogate the colonial and white gaze. Themes of fluid sexuality and collective responsibility that are important to Kentifrican culture, are also present in the tactics Hinkle employs in her works. They form close social circles and gender based roles are not prevalent. Through the community they educate and provide social well-being. The practices and independence of this culture have prevailed even as other cultures have been dominated by European powers.[18]

In Hinkle's work The Evanesced, which means to gradually fade away, she creates amorphous representations of bodies, some feature dashes of color to accent certain parts of them.[12] Hinkle offers a social commentary on the missing African American women. She tries to give them voices through her work. She uses minimalist imagery yet is provocative. This is another style that Hinkle dabbles in. She has an ability to use certain duality's in order to get the most out of her audience. Here she is very confrontational with the issues of sex trafficking, kidnappings, murder or other causes of these women, but at the same time she is creating sympathy and a call to action for these women.[12]

In Hinkle's series The Uninvited, she is trying to reclaim the subjects humanity and no longer make them subject to objectivity. Hinkle uses the mass production nature of the postcards in her favor. They were once used to further the objectification of the women and strengthen the power of the viewer. Hinkle is challenging this power dynamic by covering up the women and giving them the power to dictate what is shown.[19] She is exposing the harsh nature and sad reality that women are subjected to by men. At the same time, she is covering the women's bare bodies from the viewers. The role and obligation of the viewer is put into question here. It is said that photography is inherently violent, and yet many people indulge in this medium. Hinkle is also calling for people to face the horrific consequences of subjecting someone. There is a discomfort in the women's faces, but they are being seen as objects, and objects don't have voices. Hinkle is trying to get her audience to see the wrong that is being committed.[20] Others have seen the drawn on lines as a representation of disease, this disease is colonialism.[11]

She often uses photographs with her artworks and explores what could result from that. For instance, some of her artworks can be seen as nude, but the subject or object is covered in some forms. Her work The Contagion (2012) showed, a young African girl not wearing any clothes but there were thick red scribbly lines from her chest up to her head. While her feet seem to be tied down with some thick black scribbly lines. This work communicated the emotional and uninvited of those emotions and feeling. [21]


Selected solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2018: The Retrieval, SFAC Galleries, San Francisco, CA[22]
  • 2017: The Evanesced, The California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA[17]
  • 2016: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Moss Art Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • 2015–16: Who Among Us...The Art of Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, The Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
  • 2015: Looking Where it Ain't, University of New Hampshire Museum of Art, Durham, NH 2015: Navigating The Historical Present: Kentifrican Interventions, Clark Humanities Museum, Claremont, CA
  • 2015: Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle, Volta Art Fair Solo Project, New York
  • 2014: Say it isn't so...., Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2012: Kentifrica Is or Kentifrica Ain't?, The Bindery Projects, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 2012: The Knee Grow in the New World, Gallery D301, California Institute of the Arts
  • 2010: The Nowannago and Other Kentifrican Narratives, L-Shape Gallery, California Institute of the Arts

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2017: Black Women Over Breathing, Betti Ono Gallery, Oakland, CA[23]
  • 2017: Starless Midnight, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom
  • 2017: Black Mirror, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2017: Impressions: Andrea Chung, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle & Robert Pruitt, Mesa College Art Gallery, San Diego, CA
  • 2016: Exploring The Nowannago, Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana.
  • 2016 December: "The Uninvited" at Art Basel Miami
  • 2016: Dear Europa, What If The World Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2016: Intersectionality, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL
  • 2015: Role Play, Sun Valley Center for The Arts, Sun Valley, ID
  • 2015: Performing Blackness: Performing Whiteness, Allgeheny College, PA
  • 2015: Biomythography: Secret Poetry & Hidden Angers, Curated by Jessica Wimbley & Chris Christian, Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA
  • 2014: Biomythography: Secret Poetry & Hidden Angers, Curated by Jessica Wimbley & Chris Christian, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
  • 2013: Seven Sister, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2013: Connection Reflection curated by Nikki Pressely, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: Fore, Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem, NY
  • 2012: Balia con Dunde, Watts Tower Art Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: Authenticity?, Untitled Art Projects, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: Made in LA 2012 Biennial, LAXART, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: Venice Beach Biennial, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2011: Intimacies: MFA 2011 GradShow, Farley Building, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2011: MFA Mid-Residency Group Show, CalArts, Valencia, CA
  • 2009: Colorblind/Colorsight, Katzen Art Center Gallery- American University
  • 2009: Our Common Bond: Mother Daughter Sister Self, Galerie Mrytis, Baltimore, MD
  • 2009: Six in the Mix: Selections by Renee Stout, Hillyer Art Space, Washington .D.C.
  • 2008: Fun Home, New York Studio Program Exhibition, DUMBO, NY
  • 2008: Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Gateway Gallery MICA, Baltimore, MD


  • 2017: The Evanesced: Embodied Disappearance, The California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA[24]
  • 2016: Exploring The Nowannago with Tyler Matthew Oyer, Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA
  • 2016: Exploring The Nowannago with Tyler Matthew Oyer, The Museum of The African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
  • 2015: Kentifrica Is Or Kentifrica Ain't Panel Discussion, University of New Hampshire
  • 2014: Call & Response: A Symposium of Black Women in Performance, Curated and organized by Gabrielle Civil, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH
  • 2012: The Uninvited: Uncharting the Charted, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY
  • 2012: Kentifrica Is: An Ethnomusicology Concert, Made in LA 2012 Biennial, LAXART & Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: Venice Beach Biennial, LAXART & Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: Perform Chinatown 4th Annual Performance Festival, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: Baila Con Dunde, Watts Tower Art Center, Los Angeles CA


Hinkle is the recipient of several fellowships and grants including the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the Cultural Center for Innovation's Investing in Artists Grant, Social Practice in Art (SPart-LA), and the Jacob K. Javits Full Fellowship for Graduate Study. She is a recent alumna (2015–2016) of the US Fulbright Program in which she conducted research at the University of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria.[14]

Her performance and project Kentifrica was featured in the Made in L.A. 2012, making her the youngest artist featured. [25]


  1. ^ Made In L.A. 2012. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles. 2012. p. 9. ISBN 9783791352312.
  2. ^ Cotter, Holland (2012-11-29). "Racial Redefinition in Progress". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Haunted Geographies: The Living Work of Kenyatta A.C Hinkle". KCET. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  4. ^ Tedford, Matthew Harrison. "Who Among Us... The Art of Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle | Art Practical". Art Practical. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  5. ^ Westin, Monica. "Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle on her exhibition at the Museum of the African Diaspora". Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  6. ^ Gleason, Mat (2017-04-02). "Is Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle The Anti-Schutz?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  7. ^ Deb, Sopan (2017-04-14). "One Artist's Melancholy Look at Missing African-American Women". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  8. ^ "West Oakland Collective CTRL+SHFT Carves Out Space for Underrepresented Artists". KQED Arts. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  9. ^ "Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle - Hammer Museum". The Hammer Museum. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  10. ^ "Members -". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  11. ^ a b c "Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle | HuffPost". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  12. ^ a b c Deb, Sopan (2017-04-14). "One Artist's Melancholy Look at Missing African-American Women". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  13. ^ Darling, Nikki (2014-03-12). "Haunted Geographies: The Living Work of Kenyatta A.C Hinkle". KCET. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  14. ^ a b "KACH STUDIO". KACH STUDIO. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  15. ^ "Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle's The Evanesced at CAAM". 24700. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  16. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ a b "Artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Explores Politics of the Female Body - EBONY". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  18. ^ McGruder, Kevin (Fall 2015). "Kentifrican Cultural Practices: An Experiment in Joy". Obsidian. 41: 82–84.
  19. ^ Fletcher, Kanitra (2014-01-02). "Re-covered: Wangechi Mutu, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, and the postcolonial potentiality of black women in colonial(ist) photographs". Social Dynamics. 40 (1): 181–198. doi:10.1080/02533952.2014.886868. ISSN 0253-3952.
  20. ^ Lauren, Haynes; J., Keith, Naima; J., Lax, Thomas; 1980-, Báez, Firelei; 1984-, Barnette, Sadie; 1985-, Beasley, Kevin; 1980-, Campbell, Crystal Z.; 1987-, Cherry, Caitlin; 1973-, Cyrus, Jamal (2012). Fore. ISBN 9780942949162. OCLC 825555536.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ Kanitra, Fletcher (March 1, 2014). "Re-Covered: Wangechi Mutu, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, and the Postcolonial Potentiality of Black Women in Colonial(Ist) Photographs". Social Dynamics. 40: 181–198. doi:10.1080/02533952.2014.886868.
  22. ^ Seigel, Jeremy (2018-02-19). "Bay Area Artist 'Retrieves' Missing Young Black Women". KQED News. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  23. ^ "A Reclamation of Power for Black Women in Oakland". KQED Arts. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  24. ^ "CAAM Here & Now - Spring 2017". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  25. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]