ARTIST STATEMENT: I am an artist and an education activist. My artwork explores themes of adolescent culture, violence, loss, and identity by utilizing printmaking, photography, digital art, and painting techniques. I am also interested in the aftermath of violence - how humans process trauma and grief. My work is actualized in large, conceptually related series.
As an artist, I explore uncomfortable topics that people attempt to ignore. Along with my independent artwork, I make large-scale installations and collaborations with adolescents. My art practices and my pedagogical approaches are intimately intertwined. For the past 17 years, I have worked collaboratively with adolescents in underserved communities in Atlanta, the Bronx, and Appalachia, as well as with youth that lost a parent or guardian on 9/11/01. These experiences deeply inform all that I do. As an artist, I strive to expand the definitions of collaboration, and challenge my audience’s views on adolescent stereotypes related to race, class, and gender.
Below are brief descriptive statements regarding some of my work:
The Composite Series explores identity, stereotyping, traditional portrait photography, and profiling. The figures do not exist - they are constructed digital portraits made by layering photos/creating hybrids.
Headshots depict portraits showcasing adolescent identity. The teenagers’ poses reflect personas, (real and constructed), that imitate attitudes of “toughness” and “vulnerability”. The series comments on social stereotypes related to urban youth, invisibility, and implied violence The vibrant patterns and iconography obscures the subject’s identity, forcing the viewer to focus on the “surface layer” and disregard the portrait seen below.
The On Absence project is comprised of 300 site-specific photographs taken of an empty Brooklyn sky - specifically, the void once inhabited by the World Trade Center buildings. The piece, influenced by my experiences collaborating with children that lost a parent on 9/11/01, integrates notions of place, absence, and bereavement.
Untitled, (For Trayvon’s Mother), is a suite of 18 monoprints. The series comments on adolescent identity, social stereotypes related to urban youth, invisibility, and implied violence. The prints depict traditional black and white portraiture, as well as darkly toned multicolored imagery. Some of the monoprints have punctures, cut paper, and collaged elements on the surface.