Sherman Fleming

thug series #2
30″x22″; digital collage; 2018

Sherman Fleming
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


I seek to create projects that identify cultural and social mechanisms that resonate with my processes of performance, practice, and collaboration, combined with my experiences of community engagement. Subsumed within this practice my visual and performative work draws inspiration from the interstice between sex and race. The continuity that threads my work together is the body and its relation to identity, community, and environment. I’ve always gained inspiration from developments that have adversely impacted communities especially traditions and conditions that spur gentrification, anti-immigration, terrorism, and bigotry.

In 2019 I began a series entitled “Thug”. “Thug” is a series of digital collages that attempt to envision simultaneously all of the realities in which these images make sense. The collages integrate figurative, graphic and textural elements in order to express an urgent and potent symmetry that simultaneously conjure qualities that evoke conflict, direction, aggression, and imposition.


My artwork spans several mediums including photography, performance, painting, installation, and video. Since the 1990’s I have been creating collages and collage-driven works on paper as well as performance actions. My visual work has been exhibited in galleries such as Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, VIAP Galerie, Heerlen, The Netherlands, Nexus Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia. In 2019, my paintings and performance were exhibited at DCAC, Washington, DC, and a performance premiered at the Barnes Collection. 1994 artist-in-residence at Virginia Commonwealth University, 2013 recipient Franklin Furnace Fund, 2018 artist-in-residence, Rush Arts Gallery in partnership with African American Museum in Philadelphia. Selections of my visual work are included in the collections of the Nasher Museum of Art as well as the James E. Lewis Gallery.


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thug series #3
30″x22″; digital collage; 2021
thug series #4
30″x22″; digital collage; 2021
thug series #5
30″x22″; digital collage; 2021
thug series #6
30″x22″; digital collage; 2021