Tiff Massey

She // Her // Hers

[ID: Tiff, a young Black woman, is heavily adorned by the jewelry she created and rocking a du-rag, gold beads, and a floral dress. She holds her glasses as she gazes into the camera.]

Interdisciplinary Artist
Detroit, MI
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Tiff Massey is an interdisciplinary artist from Detroit. Massey holds an MFA in metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Her work, inspired by African standards of economic vitality, includes both large-scale and wearable sculptures, music, and performance. She counts the iconic material culture of 1980s hip-hop as a major influence in her jewelry. Massey uses contemporary observances of class and race through the lens of an African Diaspora, combined with inspiration drawn from her experience in Detroit.

Portrait photo by Joe Gall.
  • Artwork by Tiff Massey
    Bitch Don't Touch My Hair!!, 2019. Neon, dimensions 60 × 60 inches.
    [ID: The words “Bitch Don't Touch My Hair” in Tiff Massey’s handwriting are rendered in pink neon and mounted on the wall.]
  • Artwork by Tiff Massey
    I Got Bundles And I Got Flewed Out, 2019. Kanekalon, plastic beads, and cowry shells on canvas, dimensions 104 × 493 inches.
    [ID: 22 bundles of braided, curly, and twisted protective hairstyles, displayed across 11 black canvases in a horizontal grid. Each bundle contains golden yellow and black strands.]
  • Artwork by Tiff Massey
    I Remember Way Back When, 2019. Painted maple, dimensions of each barrette 45 × 9 inches.
    [ID: A neat row of 11 giant pink hair barrettes hung from their long clasps and attached to buttons shaped like bows, flowers, and animals.]
Artwork by Tiff Massey Artwork by Tiff Massey Artwork by Tiff Massey