Christopher Myers

Born 1974 in New York, USA
Lives and works in New York

White Bay Power Station


Untitled I-XII, 2024
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from Terra Foundation for American Art and generous assistance from James Cohan, New York
Courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York

Legend has it that, not so long ago, a young Black slave working in a sugar factory fell into a vat of molasses where, sinking beneath the surface, he met his end. Now an icon of the Trinidadian Carnivale, ‘Jab Molassie’ reappears each year as a trouble-making devil on the streets of downtown. Those who choose to dress as Jab for the festival will wear horns, a tail and smear themselves with blue paint as a representation of the melted sugar that killed him.

Christopher Myers’ own Jabs are rendered across a series of textiles in festive colours that belie the back-breaking labour they are undertaking in order to produce anything from sugar and chocolate to coal power. Using his quilted works to confront the true cost of modern comforts, Myers mixes the symbols of folklore with ideas around the machinery of capitalism. Creating a colourful chorus of Jab Molassies, Myers, much like the character of Jab himself, balances the pain of slavery’s enduring legacy with the pride of perseverance.

Christopher Myers is an artist and writer whose transdisciplinary work is rooted in storytelling. Myers delves into the margins of the historical archive to reconstruct narratives that parse the slippages between fact and fiction. His diverse practice spans textiles, performance, film, stained glass, and sculptural objects, often created in collaboration with artisans from around the globe. In his hand-stitched appliqué textile artworks and stained-glass paintings, Myers explores transcultural hybridities and mythologies.

Read more about the 24th Biennale of Sydney, Ten Thousand Suns, by purchasing the catalogue here.