Maisha is Swahili for Life. This set of work is a representation of life as a Black American, but of images and styles that are not common representations of Black Americans. This is the current direction of my work and the start of a conversation on these ideals of race and what are the boundaries and how do we deteriorate those lines. Maisha is a set of paintings and collage work using drawer liner or wrapping paper to create areas of flat and diverse pattern. This comes after asking about the use of flat pattern in a couple of visiting artist’s work that I enjoyed. I have constantly explored the backgrounds or settings I give to the figures of my work and working on those relationship of color and context with my pieces. The flat pattern is used for many reasons in my own work, but the most important for me, is to keep the viewers eyes moving around the piece.
4ft by 5ft,
oil paint with drawer liner,
Lounging in Defiance
Lounging in Defiance,
4ft by 5ft,
oil paint with drawer liner,
Stylin and Profilin
Stylin and Profilin,
5ft by 4ft,
oil paint and wrapping paper,
Mambo is Swahili for elements, specifically natural elements. This work is about expression, mark making, and change in style. I created the pieces in hope of getting more out of my brush, while also internalizing the complexity of femininity. As a son to a single mother for a lot of my life I have seen my mother ferociousness of fire and as the fluidity of water. I think I may add more to this at another time as well.
Usio: Never Bound By ideals
Usio is swahili for infinite. The idea for this work was create with idea of myself as a black artist and what that meant for the general interpretation of my work. I was seen as a black artist and not as an artist. The ideas that I was only able to, or allowed to only create work around and of black people was frustrating and in an effort to break that I explored these skin tones in an to talk about my frustrations.
Maulana: Water and the Womb
Maulana has many meaning in Swahili but that one I connected with is Creator. This was an exploration into not only other ethnicity but the range of emotions and essence of women. The work focuses on trying to capture a moment, the background being a visual representation of that sense, allowing the uncontrolled clashing with a realistic rendering of the figure, b ut allowing that background and that figure to speak to each other.
Fissure: A Rift Between Us
Fissure was my first large solo show in 2017 that kicked off a lot of growth and was quintessentially the turning point of my work. This work was my attempt at uplifting the black woman. “The most disrespected woman in America, is the Black Woman. The most un-protected person in America is the Black Woman. The most neglected person in America, is the Black Woman.”-Malcolm X. I truly felt this statement and created work because of it. The background being spray painted over acrylic, then taking oil paint and with a pallet knife creating these images meticulously crafting the hair and faces of these women celebrating them for their individuality and life. For more information around this work read below.
I had been giving a research grant from the school and with that money was allowed to do anything with it as long as there was something to present after summer. Initially I planned to do a series of work all about the album “To Pimp a Butterfly”-by Kendrick Lamar, but long story short the show had to change date because of school issues. The work was supposed to be shown before the election in an attempt to get out a message before, but that obviously changed. I had completed the Blue piece initially and after some deliberation from the schools faculty I centered the new show around that and created this work from it and everything’s changed since.
Commission and individual work
This is a mix of work commissioned and pieces I have done without real connection to another work or in a set part of a larger group of work. Many are an exploration in an idea or a art work that I was inspired to create. These are moments, both clear and experimental, but all contribute to the greater purpose of creating work in hopes of finding something that sticks.
This is all about my interest in the world of 3 dimensionality and allowing the viewer to see some other work I have done as well.