Skip to content Skip to footer

Vagner Whitehead

#YOLO | 22″ x 30″ | acrylic paint, letter-press ink, pencil, and laser-etching on paper | 2020


Artist Statement 

Vagner Mendonça-Whitehead is an artist, educator, and academic leader. His art practice encompasses traditional and newer media, community projects, and creative writing that present accidental and forced intersections of personal experiences, histories, current events, geo-locations, languages, and found artifacts, presented in group and solo exhibitions in galleries and museums, as well as film and video festivals, nationally and internationally. 

Past art projects dealt with metaphorical representations of fear and violence (Color Coded), aging and technological obsolescence (Generations), and imprisoned young brown bodies (Children in Cages). Recent projects present a memorialization of longing and loss during a global pandemic, combine meditation and active listening with anti-racist literature temporalized through craft (Left Listening), and display an alternative to Zoom fatigue and queering communing (Titled Video Stills). His current research combines the history of pigments as pertaining to colonialism, family migratory routes, the photographic archive, and surface scarification (Nau/now).

Artist Website + Social Media: 

MR/QD Is Made Possible BY

Artists stipends made possible by Kresge Arts in Detroit

For details and more info on making a contribution to Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, please contact us at

About MR/QD

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is an art exhibition in June 2022 devoted to 77 years (1945-2022) of Detroit LGBTQ+ art 

The exhibition presents a month-long historical examination of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its longtime allies, featuring established & emerging Detroit artists, as well as artists whose careers were shortened by HIV/AIDS.

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting positive and meaningful images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through artistic and intellectual means. © 2023. All Rights Reserved.