Metro Detroit artist DaJaniere Rice’s show “Naked” is being held at Detroit Contemporary June 3-25. Not included in the program is a painting that went missing after the exhibit’s soft opening in April.
Rice is still looking for the artwork that fell off her father’s car during transport somewhere between the downtown Detroit Carhartt Store and before getting on I-75 South while heading to her home in Lincoln Park.
In “Naked,” Rice uses many different mediums to explore how she finds balance and navigates entering adulthood while being a Black woman in America.
Rice made the large canvas in college at Bowling Green State University, where she graduated in 2017. She was saving it for a special project, and last year started work on the painting that depicts her crouched in grass surrounded by flowers. A bitten apple sits in front of her and a snake watches from behind, sitting in an apple tree.
“It kind of flips the story a little bit of Eve [in the Garden of Eden] and it’s more of an inspiration to show sometimes we have to eat that forbidden apple — which could also be risky,” Rice says. “Sometimes we have to take risks to break away from generational curses, or to figure out what success looks like for us and to break free of some of those societal or familial holds that keep us constrained.”
A lot of the show centers on Rice learning to be more vulnerable and the importance of continuing to move forward. Both of these themes have connected to Rice losing her painting.
“[M]y sister had brought up a point…this is about vulnerability. And now, losing it [the painting] kind of puts me in a vulnerable position, because I’m asking people for help. I’m putting up signs. I feel embarrassed because I’m like, ‘How did I lose this?’ It’s definitely putting me in a position where it’s like, practicing what I preach and just accepting it and finding a way to move forward.”