Student Spotlight | AH Undergrad Sophia Abrams Curates Taj Matumbi’s “Camouflage and Cologne”

Camouflage and Cologne highlights the work of Madison-based artist Taj Matumbi (MFA ‘21). Matumbi’s introspective work explores his experience as a biracial man through Abstraction, Jim Crow motifs and the depth of color. These works capture a 21st-century interpretation of the fluidity and stagnancy of American Blackness and coming-of-age in a landscape tethered by the past and present’s reaction to Blackness. Matumbi’s show offers a pensive expression of self-identity in 2022.Curator and art history undergraduate Sophia Abrams interviewed Matumbi for her University Archives Oral History Project on Black artists in 2021, created through her Student Historian role at the Archives. After interviewing 17 Black student artists who attended UW-Madison, Abrams spent the 2021-2022 school year translating her oral history interviews into exhibitions and documentaries. Abrams chose Matumbi’s work for the School of Education Gallery due to its scale, colors and themes pairing well in the gallery. Matumbi is also featured in the Black Expressions: 50 Years of Black Student Artists at UW-Madison exhibit at the Memorial Union’s 1925 gallery, which will be on display until Friday, May 13, 2022.Camouflage and Cologne is organized and curated by Sophia Abrams, with support from University Archives and the UW–Madison Division of the Arts’ Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Student Award in the Creative Arts.