This Must Be the Place

Curated by Farah Al Qasimi

Part I

Davion Alston – Arielle Gray – Xi Li – Miraj Patel – Shaun Pierson

Downtown Los Angeles | June 23 – July 22, 2023


Part II

Hobbes Ginsberg – Natalie Ivis – Adrian Martinez Chavez – Sydney Mieko King – Sophie Schwartz

Downtown Los Angeles | July 29 – September 9, 2023


Installation view, This Must Be the Place, 2023. François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA

Press Release

François Ghebaly is pleased to present This Must Be the Place, an exhibition of works by recent graduate students from the Yale School of Art’s MFA photography program. Curated by Farah Al Qasimi, their presentation is a culmination of experiments and prolonged observations, tracing their collective and collaborative inquiry through photography.

Featuring work from the MFA photography class of 2023, the exhibition is broken up in two parts.  Part I opening on Friday, June 23, 2023 includes artists Davion Alston, Arielle Gray, Xi Li, Miraj Patel and Shaun Pierson; Part II opening Saturday, July 29, 2023 features artists Hobbes Ginsberg, Natalie Ivis, Adrian Martinez Chavez, Sydney Mieko King and Sophie Schwartz.


Part I

Davion Alston (b. 1992 in Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany) received his BFA from the Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University. The 2020/2021 Working Artist Project Fellow is also a 2020/2021 International Center of Photography: Black Press Freedom Fund Recipient, a 2020/2021 Black Artist Fund Recipient, and a 2020/2021 Edge Award Finalist.

Arielle Gray (b.1996 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama) received her BA in studio art from the University of Alabama in 2019. Gray was selected for Photolucida’s 2022 Critical Mass Top 50, Aperture and Google’s 2021 Creator Labs Fund and Innovate Grant, and is one of 20 finalists for the 2022 Aperture Portfolio Prize.

Xi Li (b.1995 in Suzhou, China) has exhibited internationally in LATITUDE Gallery and Inna Art Space in New York City, Green Hall Gallery at Yale School of Art in New Haven, and MadeIn Gallery in Shanghai.  Her self-published book Traces of Invisibilities has been shortlisted for Photo 2020 x Perimeter International Photobook Prize. 

Miraj Patel (b. 1995 in Ahmedabad, India) is an immigrant from India who moved to the States around the age of five. He spent his formative years studying human biology and astrophysics prior to art and design: his artistic process usually begins with inquiry and research. He uses his experiences to critically investigate the fragility of the antiquated systems at play in the western world and explores how subtle and crude shifts disrupt them. His practice takes many forms and usually consists of installations with photos, sculptures, textiles, video, and sound.

Shaun Pierson (b. 1997 in New Jersey) is an artist working with both photography and video. He received his BA from Rowan University and MFA from the Yale School of Art. He is a recipient of the 2023-2024 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. 


Part II

Hobbes Ginsberg (b. 1994 in the United States) is a lesbian photographer and filmmaker based in New Haven, making vulnerable, hyper-saturated work exploring queer domesticity and the evolution of self. Her formal, yet candid, tableaux offer a non-confrontational view of queerness that position queer love as iconic and quintessential.

Natalie Ivis (b. 1990 in Ormond Beach, Florida) is an artist living in New Haven, CT. Her work engages with moments of intimacy and human connection. Natalie is interested in creating images to understand complex relationships in a way that often pulls from personal narratives. Her work aims to create quiet moments of contemplation from chaotic environments. Natalie received a BFA and a BA from the University of South Florida and an MFA from Yale University.

Adrian Martinez Chavez (b. 1992 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an artist and DJ working in photography, audio, video, and filmmaking. He received a BFA in Photography from the University of Hartford’s, Hartford Art School, and an MFA in Photography from Yale University, School of Art. His work has been exhibited regionally and nationally and can be found in public and private collections such as the Goldfarb Memorial Collection at the University of Hartford. He has been the recipient of grants and awards from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Houston Center for Photography, Real Art Ways, and Yale University.

Sydney Mieko King (b. 1995 in San Francisco, California) is an artist working in photography and sculpture. Her work has been shown at the International Center of Photography Museum (NYC), Huxley-Parlour Gallery (London, UK), the Broodthaers Society of America (NYC), the Dean Collection (Miami, FL), Chashama (NYC), the Lewis Center for the Arts (Princeton, NJ), and others. She has held residencies at the Yale Norfolk School of Art (Norfolk, CT), Virginia Center for Creative Arts (Amherst, VA), Recess Art (Brooklyn, NY), and BRIC (Brooklyn, NY). She is a 2021 En Foco Fellow and 2021 Creator Labs Photo Fund recipient.

Sophie Schwartz (b. 1995 in Cleveland, Ohio) graduated from the Modern Culture + Media program at Brown University. Their work has been featured in publications including Vogue, BOOOOOOOM, WÜL Magazine, and Architectural Digest. Schwartz received the Harvey Geiger Travel Fellowship from Yale University and was selected as a finalist for the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize, Critical Mass, and the Palm Photo Prize.


About Yale School of Art
Yale School of Art provides students with intellectually informed, hands-on instruction in the practice of an array of visual arts media within the context of a liberal arts university. As a part of the first institution of higher learning to successfully integrate a studio-based education into such a broad pedagogical framework, the Yale School of Art has a long and distinguished history of training artists of the highest caliber. A full-time faculty of working artists in conjunction with a diverse cross-section of accomplished visiting artists collaborate to design a program and foster an environment where the unique talents and perspectives of individual students can emerge and flourish.

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