"Overall, 'The Black Woman Is God' comports with SOMArts’ curatorial practices. The main gallery is a loft-like space with a second, windowless chamber on the far end. The placement of three-dimensional or otherwise large-scale works on the floor is usually deliberate and highly selective, and the paintings and smaller pieces are hung on the walls with the minimum viable amount of breathing room.
It’s not cluttered, exactly. But there is enough to keep the eye engaged that a piece that exerts a tractor beam from across the room can seem even more powerful. The one I have in mind is Tania L. Balan-Gaubert’s Sibyl # 3 / Zili Dechennen (Zili Unleashed). The Haitian-American Balan-Gaubert’s Sibyls series “aims to refuse Western demonization of African religion and ritual,” and while the hooded figure with an electrifying gaze in this work cannot be divorced from that context, it could also be read as a mysterious saint from Eastern Orthodox Christianity, with red and gold sequins and a multicolored mosaic halo. This Sibyl clutches her belly, which may be pregnant, and holds her left arm up, its palm forward. A human heart sits at her throat, and a bandanna with an American flag print conceals her mouth. It’s archetypal, nearly Tarot-esque. You cannot look away."