As an African-born first-generation American, originally from Liberia, Trokon Nagbe is sensitive to various border-crossings, personal transformations, erasures, and the evolution of spirit that is endemic to the immigrant state. He is on a virtual quest for an essential something that was lost in the turbulence of time and history—something he defines as ‘soul’. It remains the conceptual heart of his ongoing project. This ineffable quest has taken various forms and directions while exploring the slippages between experience and desire. The artist employs a wide range of media and processes including ephemeral performances, sound, as well as labor-intensive object making. His work is never an exercise in reductive black and white polemics/politics whether racial or conceptual. What results from his shamanistic exploration and manipulation of the visual, is an aesthetic truth infused with the spiritual and the personal. Trokon’s artistic products, however, they are achieved, become markers, non-specific but charged power-objects, and events along a continuum of discovery. Trokon Nagbe, it seems, is always in search of an authentic spiritual self, or at least an element of ‘soulfulness’ in the aftermath of a traumatic history. – Carl E, Hazlewood
Born in Liberia, West Africa, Trokon Nagbe immigrated to the United States in the 1980s with his family. He received his MFA from the Savannah College of Arts in 2004 in the Film and fine arts program. Trokon has participated in group exhibitions in Paris, France, New York City, and Savannah Georgia. His work has been written about in Art in America, The New York Times, and in the Village Voice for his installation in the Studio Museum of Harlem “Flow” exhibition.