Iriée Zamblé explores the norms surrounding portraits by means of drawing and painting. She finds inspiration in everyday life and Afro-Atlantic culture. In Zamblé's paintings, black people are the protagonists, and they occupy their space with pride. She creates powerful works that overturn perspective on normativity, also within autonomous art.
The artist describes her process as a way of capturing Coolness. Originating in West Africa, Coolness, was developed further by African diasporic cultures: it is expressed in fashion, language or attitude; it is a means of agency, to own control over one's own body, spirit and story, stemming from a lack thereof. Coolness is about claiming your space unapologetically.