Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – new media

Martine Syms

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – new media
Region: Los Angeles, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2024

Martine Syms is an artist who has earned wide recognition for a practice that combines conceptual grit, humor, and social commentary. They have shown extensively including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Modern. They have also done commissioned work for brands such as Prada, Nike, Celine, and NTS, among others.

Syms is a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award, the Creative Capital Award, a United States Artists fellowship, the Tiffany Foundation award, the Future Fields Art Prize, and is a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow.

They’ve written and directed three feature films, The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto, Incense Sweaters & Ice, and The African Desperate (Mubi), which was the closing night film of New Directors/New Films 2022 and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2023.

Syms was admitted to Guggenheim Fellowship program in 2023 and has dedicated this next year to developing new works. They are also in a band called Aunt Sister; hosts Double Penetration, a monthly radio show on NTS; and runs Dominica Publishing.

At MacDowell, Syms spent their time researching and writing a new film project.

Portrait by Jebi Labembika



Martine Syms worked in the Eastman studio.

Thanks to the generous support of MacDowell Fellow and board member Louise Eastman, this century-old farm building was reinvented as a modern, energy efficient live and workspace for visual artists. Originally built in 1915 to house a forge and provide storage when the residency program was expanding, this small barn was simply converted for…

Learn more