Paul Mpagi Sepuya

“My studio was private, but not a closed environment. Rather, it was a stage that I inhabited and opened to those around me.”

  • Name: Paul Mpagi Sepuya
  • Born: 1982
  • From: San Bernardino, California
  • Pronouns: He/him
  • Contribution/Impact: Paul Mpagi Sepuya is known for the fragmentation in his photography, which brings attention to the process of photography and the aspects of construction and performance within that. In obscuring a full view of subjects in his work, Sepuya often elicits a sense of yearning. 
  • Occupation: Photographer, Artist
  • Known For: Exposure (2017), A conversation about around pictures (2020), Figures with Poppies After RBN (2015)
  • Awards: Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Los Angeles Emerging Artist Grant in 2017 and participated in the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2010) and Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago (2014); has a self-published periodical, SHOOT, sold internationally since 2005.

Born in San Bernardino in 1982, his mother supported his interest in photography from early on. Sepuya became New York-based for some time, receiving his BFA in Photography & Imaging from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He received his MFA in Photography at UCLA in 2016 and served as visiting arts faculty at CalArts in Valencia, California from 2017-2018. He usually works in familiar environments, that being studios of his and his friends. Sepuya’s subjects are described by him as a cast of friends, muses, and intimates.  


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