Fabia St-Juste

B.F.A. '24, Cornell AAP

  • March 4-22, 2024

  • John Hartell Gallery, Sibley Hall

Fabia St-Juste is a Haitian American artist and writer, majoring in Fine Arts at Cornell University. Her artistry weaves photography and text to create immersive, serial work deeply rooted in her identity as a Black woman. Driven by a profound connection to her sense of self, Fabia intricately collages found and rendered imagery. Fabia’s aim is a meticulous reconstruction of images, seeking to reconcile her personal journey with the world. 

Barbie Magazine, now in its third edition, traces its origins back to Fabia’s time in Rome during the fall of 2022. The idea took root as she grappled with her sense of belonging in an unfamiliar place, marked by isolation and a stark contrast to the glamorous world around her. Amidst Fabia’s struggles to connect both at Cornell and in Rome, the magazine emerged as a response to her yearning for a space where she could imagine herself belonging effortlessly.

This project, driven by the fusion of AI technology, self-staged photos, and curated content, serves as Fabia’s vision of existing in spaces that traditionally exclude people like her—a Black woman and Haitian immigrant. It aims to transcend the barriers she has faced, not by challenging institutions, but by claiming her rightful place within them. The magazine embodies Fabia’s desire for recognition without hesitation, in a manner as recognizable as established logos and brands.

It embodies the aspiration for a future where success is unambiguous and accessible to everyone who deserves it. The latter point is further emphasized by the installation of the project. It invites individuals to take a spotlight for themselves, offering the chance to walk their own runway up to the pedestal. There, they encounter a manifestation of letting their imagination run wild, envisioning themselves in canon spaces of success, challenging societal norms, and claiming their rightful place.

In the context of Fabia’s personal journey as one of the few Black individuals in her classes and often the sole Black person in her surroundings at Cornell, the magazine becomes a beacon of representation and motivation. It challenges the prevailing norms and heralds a narrative where individuals like Fabia can not only belong but also excel. The magazine, currently in production, is set to be a tangible embodiment of this vision, meant to be displayed prominently on a pedestal, a testament to the power of imagination and self-assertion.

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