“Aint No Dogs In Heaven”
a solo exhibition by
Esteban Raheem Abdul Raheem Samayoa
Showing through September 9th
pt. 2 Gallery is pleased to present, Ain’t No Dogs in Heaven, a solo exhibition featuring new paintings and sculptures by artist Esteban Raheem Abdul Raheem Samayoa. Curated across three viewing rooms, Ain’t No Dogs in Heaven represents the artist’s diverse creative inheritance. Drawing from muralism, street art, and traditional Latin American folk art, Samayoa has created a collection that represents a triad of identities: Pops, Esteban, and Raheem.
Samayoa engages in autobiography and memoir to explore his emotional interiority and the communities that have defined him. Using drawing, airbrushing, and painting techniques acquired throughout his upbringing in the hoods of Sacramento, California, Samayoa creates works that demonstrate the power of kinship, familial and street ties, and the role of community, in the cultivation of an interior self. Samayoa, whose techniques build on the rich tradition of California artistry, presents paintings that evoke a profound tie to the streets and references therein. In the viewing room Ain’t No Dogs in Heaven, Samayoa displays greyscale works on canvas that use highlights to indicate prominence and luxury, while using shadows to indicate familiarity, tenderness, and intimacy. These works are a pivotal contribution to the Californian tradition of street muralism, as they engage in surrealist compositions to render Black and brown people engaging in play. In Samayoa’s viewing room Los Colores de la Tierra, the artist engages with his Guatemalan heritage to create works that seem to emerge from the earth itself. This second viewing room signals the artist’s continued engagement with shadow and light to develop narrative lines that touch on tenderness, intimacy, and danger. Samayoa has transformed his final viewing room, On the Seventh Day, into an interactive installation featuring sculpture, a bookcase, and a Muslim prayer rug, as an ode to his faith. Inspired by the trajectory of Malcolm X, Samayoa has created a collection that likewise refuses a singular narrative. Ain’t No Dogs in Heaven illustrates the artist’s profound engagement with narrative and storytelling to convey multiple truths within one single realm. Written by Dr. Margarita Lila Rosa