Esteban Jefferson's practice centers around issues of race, identity and the legacies of colonialism. Using photography, drawing, painting, and sound installation as forms of documentation, Jefferson paints the focal points of his compositions in great detail, creating a stark contrast between the subject or object in focus and the surrounding environment. The paintings are left intentionally unfinished, creating a raw style emblematic of his investigative process.
Jefferson's largest series 'Petit Palais’ considers, and sharply exposes, the ways in which institutions create value hierarchies, especially in relation to art objects that depict subjects of color. The ongoing body of work, comprised of a video installation and paintings based on Jefferson's photographs, questions the positioning and lack of readily available information concerning two busts of African subjects behind the ticket counter in the museum's lobby in Paris.
Esteban Jefferson was born in New York City in 1989. He received his BA and MFA from Columbia University. He presented a solo exhibition at White Columns, New York in 2019. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Art on the Grid’, Public Art Fund, New York (2020); ‘ESTAMOS BIEN: La Trienal', El Museo del Barrio, New York (2021) and ‘Open Call’, The Shed, New York (2021). Jefferson lives and works in New York City.