Diamond Stingily: Doing the Best I Can

January 15, 2019

Diamond Stingily, Doing the Best I Can, 2019; installation view, CCA Wattis Institute; Courtesy of the artist; Queer Thoughts, New York; and Ramiken, New York; Photo: Johnna Arnold

For her solo exhibition Doing the Best I Can , artist and poet Diamond Stingily expounded on themes of athleticism in a new site-specific installation for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Stingily recreated trophy room displaying hundreds of sports trophies evenly metered on tall, L-shape shelves with a swath of carpet shielded in plastic protectors. Each trophy featured a small engraved plate with phrases like “I did the best I could with what I had” and “Through all the madness this all you gone get” which replaced the expected accolades of “district championship” or “most valuable player. ”

Through the lens of athleticism and its accolades, she highlights themes of class, race, and gender through the augmented plates. With trophies for gymnastics, lacrosse, tennis, and badminton, phrases like “We didn’t have this sport where I was at” offer a stinging truth in their display alongside football, basketball, and baseball awards. However, Stingily is not only interested in socio-economic fissures evidenced in sports, but also the overlap between the art world and the sports world. While stereotypically antagonists, Stingily pulls the two together Venn diagram where there is richness in the overlap—the relentless work ethic, grit, determination, overcoming challenges, competition while constantly being observed, judged, evaluated, seeking validation, and, of course, doing your best.

Diamond Stingily: Doing the Best I Can (January 15 –April 6, 2019) was curated by Anthony Huberman and organized by Leila Grothe.

Click the headlines below to view coverage.








Citations and links:

Diehl, Travis. “For Artist Diamond Stingily, No One Is a Winner.” frieze.com, March 13, 2019.


Desmarais, Charles. “Diamond Stingily’s Trophies for the Biggest Game at CCA Wattis Institute.” datebook.sfchronicle.com, February 1, 2019.


Hotchkiss, Sarah. “Imagine Yourself a Spider, or a Softball Catcher, in Two Wattis Shows.” kqed.org, January 24, 2019.


Editors. “Contemporary Art Daily: Diamond Stingily at Wattis.” contemporaryartdaily.com, March 27, 2019.


Messerley, Camile. “Review: Diamond Stingily @ CCA Wattis.” journal.fyi, 2019.