About the Artist
Yrneh Gabon Brown is a New Genre/interdisciplinary media artist. His work deals with sustainable environmental issues in a socio-political and historical context. Gabon Brown is an international artist, based in Los Angeles, who illuminates his subject matter through interdisciplinary visual art and activism (performance art). His extensive travels have helped him to frame his ideas. After his summer 2017 Residency at the Foundation Sebastian in Mexico City, Gabon traveled to West Africa, London and Western Europe to conduct further research and dialogue regarding climate change and other social issues for the next four months.
Currently in California, Gabon uses visual and performing arts to bring awareness to albinism and climate change/global warming, hoping to extend his research globally. Gabon is presently in talks with Gallery 198 in London, England, to schedule a 2018 exhibition. He was also invited to exhibit this year at Musée de l'Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire or IFAN Museum of African
Arts in Dakar, Senegal, which is one of the oldest art museums in West Africa. Gabon conducts relevant research that will inform and shape the aesthetics of the final artistic outcome and activist response. His research questions, informs and analyzes the findings to shape the focus of the work of art, which will symbolize the body of work. The final art image often includes a combination of sculpture, video, photography, painting, performance, and/or installation. As an example, a recent project Memba Mi Tell Yu/Listen Up, Take Note used the dragonfly as a motif reflecting cultural and traditional perspectives to represent an ever-changing, growing community. Symbolism and the use of metaphors are the foundation of his art practice.
In his native Jamaica, Yrneh Gabon won First Prize in the national finals of the Tastee Talent Competition. He performed a song written by Jacob Miller entitled I was Born a Disciplined Child in conjunction with his own poem Cocaine which dramatized the effects of a psychopath capturing an audience. His performance was noted in the Daily Sunday Gleaner, Jamaica international as “nail biting,” and the following year the highly controversial poem Cocaine was released hitting the airwaves in Jamaica and London launching his European performance career.
In 2000 Gabon relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. In 2006, he began studies to complete his degree in visual Arts. He attended Los Angeles City College to obtain his associate degree, then to the University of Southern California (USC) to receive his BFA with honors, and MFA in 2017 from Otis College of Art and Design.
In 2009, while studying at USC, Brown’s work brought attention to discrimination and killings against albinos in Tanzania. In 2012, he travelled to East African country of Tanzania, the Caribbean Island of Jamaica and across America conducting research and gathering findings to build his case and his art image. This project was included in a 6 months solo exhibition at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles CA, entitled “Visibly Invisible” in 2014- 2015. The success of this project earned him an invitation to testify at the United Nations in New York where a bill for Albinism Day (June 11) was passed to protect albinos. The event was accompanied by a published catalog that shed light on the story of two young Tanzanian girls who survived a brutal attack and were granted refugee status in the US fulfilling their desires to become US citizens and young activists.
Brown is also a motivational speaker presented at Yale University’s Empowerment 2000 in 1996 where he shared the stage with political luminary Angela Davis bringing attention to the empowerment for people of color. His presentation used poetry and art to bring attention to the lives of forgotten Jamaican at the Brothers of the Poor in poverty-stricken downtown Kingston. He continued his journey to the South-Central Prevention Coalition in Los Angeles where he presented workshops for battered women, and art workshops for children in the impoverished, multicultural inner city with the William Grant Still Art Center.
In addition to Gabon visual arts practice and career he has worked in Film/TV, Radio, Music, Fashion and community activism: Including working on the
movie Sankofa alongside Kerry James Marshall. In 1996 Gabon Brown was awarded best Director/Producer for his music video (Sucre’ Amer - Bitter/Sweet) at the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in Oakland, California.
With over three and a half decades of international experience in the arts; Yrneh is credited as a visual artist, published author, motivational speaker, photographer, playwright, actor/singer, Poet, director and producer, groomer and special effects make-up artist. Yrneh believes these experiences have built the foundation of skills and tools needed to create works of art, presentations, and installations in his practice.