Kalup Linzy

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Kalup Linzy (born July 23, 1977) is an American video and performance artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Life and work[edit]

Linzy grew up in a small rural community in Florida called Stuckey. He had a large, close-knit extended family, and was raised by his Aunt and Grandmother. His has described his childhood and place of upbringing has thematically influential for his well-known video and performance work.[1] For example, Linzy has produced a series of soap opera video works, and has described soap operas as having been a key social component for his family and community. He has said that shows such as Guiding Light were a part of daily life when he was growing up, and he often includes soap opera stereotypes in the characters and plot of his videos. [2] His soap opera videos can be characterized by their low-tech quality, themes of community, socializing, family, the church, sexuality and homosexuality. Linzy pushes the boundaries of gender in his work through dressing himself and other characters in drag, using pre-recorded voices or manipulating voice through video editing, and playing with different dialects. He also uses friends with little or no acting experience for some parts. In addition to video work Linzy performs on stage, writes songs, and collaborates with other artists. [2]

In the summer of 2011, Linzy produced the video and performed in "A Heavenly Act," an opera by Italian composer Luciano Chessa commissioned by SFMOMA with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. "A Heavenly Act" premiered on August 19, 2011, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, in a staged production by the Ensemble Parallèle.[3][4] In 2012, while teaching a performance studies course at New York University, Linzy appeared with butoh artist Edoheart in an art reality show.[5][6]


Born in Clermont, Florida, Linzy graduated from the MFA program at the University of South Florida in 2003.[7] He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture video art workshop, and in 2005 received a grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. Linzy was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2007. On July 13, 2010, with an invitation from James Franco, he made his debut appearance on the daytime television soap opera General Hospital. Linzy's work has been reviewed in The New York Times,[8] Art in America, and Artforum.



  • Le Petit Versailles, East Village, NY (2004)
  • Kalup Linzy and Charles Nelson, Romo Gallery, Atlanta, GA (2005)
  • All My Churen, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2006)
  • Kalup Linzy, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York (2006)
  • Taxter & Spengemann, New York (2006)


  • Sunday in the Arts, Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, Tampa, FL (2002).
  • All Together Now, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY (2003)
  • Faith, Champion Fine Art, Culver City, CA (2004)
  • Mommy! I'm! Not! An! Animal!, Capsule Gallery, New York, NY (2004)
  • African Queen, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2005)
  • Frequency, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2005)
  • Do You Think I'm Disco, Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx, NY (2006)
  • Masquerade: Representation and the Self in Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2006)
  • Black Alphabet, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2006)
  • Empathetic, Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA (2006)
  • AFI FEST 2006, Los Angeles, CA
  • Vocal Verbal, Studentski Center, Zegreb, Croatia (2007)
  • Uncertain States of America - American Video Art in the 3rd Millennium, Moscow Biennial, Moscow, Russia (2007)
  • Spotlight Film and Video Series, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, Wisconsin (2007)
  • Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008)



  • 2011: Turn It Up (feat. James Franco) - EP
  • 2012: Labisha the Diva (Tracks from Melody Set Me Free On Rabbit.TV) - EP
  • 2013: Romantic Loner EP - Single
  • 2013: Romantic Loner - Full Album


  1. ^ Stillman, Nick http://bombsite.com/issues/104/articles/3143, “BOMB Magazine” Summer, 2008. Retrieved on July 25, 2011
  2. ^ a b Stillman, Nick http://bombsite.com/issues/104/articles/3143, “BOMB Magazine” Summer, 2008. Retrieved on July 25, 2011
  3. ^ http://www.sfcv.org/article/saints-alive
  4. ^ "Four Saints in Three Acts: An Opera Installation". YBCA. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  5. ^ "Kalup Linzy: And Then There Were Five....". Huffpost Arts & Culture (The Huffington Post). 8 March 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "New NYC Art Reality Show Debuts TONIGHT, With Kalup Linzy". In the Air: Art News & Gossip. ARTINFO.com. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Recent Alumni News". University of South Florida. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  8. ^ Cotter, Holland (2005-03-25). "Art In Review: Kalup Linzy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 

External links[edit]