Tschabalala Self’s solo presentation with the Yuz Museum, Bodega Run, has been featured in Artnet’s ’38 Must-See Museum Shows Worth Travelling for This Fall’.
Tschabalala Self, a native of Harlem’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood, brings her bodega-themed paintings to Shanghai for her first solo show in China. The series is inspired by the New York corner stores she grew up around, which are largely stocked with processed and canned foods—and therefore reflective of economic disparities along class and racial lines in the US.
Bodega, a Spanish term, here refers to the family-run corner stores in New York where you can buy food, alcohol, lottery tickets and exchange food stamps. These institutions emerged with the arrival and settlement of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans to New York City, bodegas have become a social space where different communities of color converge. The stores are often found in areas where there are few supermarkets and are the only place where some urban communities can buy food. The food products are mostly processed or canned drawing a clear dichotomy on the disparity of wealth between the rich that can afford healthy eating and the poor who are left to exchange food stamps for unhealthy food products.