artist in a studio sitting down and smiling against paintings

Shaina McCoy

Faceless family portraits in candy-hued impasto.

“I am never fully aware of the happenings or who the people are in my family photos. This unknowingness all sparks conversation. I am simply playing a game of telephone.”

Artist and archivist Shaina McCoy channels nostalgia in faceless portraits rendered in thick impasto. She works from her own personal archives which include a vast range of images, many of them quintessential examples of stiffly-posed family portraits from the 1980s and 90s. Intentionally omitting the facial features of her subjects, McCoy instead focuses on their posture, interactions and clothin...

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Shaina McCoy (she/her) was born in 1993 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she continues to live and work.


McCoy’s European debut, B is For at Stems Gallery in Brussels, was named after the bobbles, barrettes and bows that featured throughout – channeling tender memories of Black girlhood.

Did you know?

Many works are based on family photos taken by the artist’s grandfather, who used to work at a 24 Hour Photo and would develop his film the same day he finished it – providing McCoy with an abundance of source material.

Collaborations with Shaina McCoy