ARTIST STATEMENT: My work deals with the concept of mark-making in the physical and metaphysical sense. Using paintings, objects, and installations as tools to mark spaces and places, I play with the notion that thought-processes and bodies are mark-makers or placeholders in society. Much like “x” in math, a mark becomes an unknown symbol that occupies a place until it is decoded. I realize that my black body in Western society functions similar to “x;” it is often ambiguous. It is simultaneously feared, adored, wanted, and mistreated.
In my current body of work, “One of These Black Boys,” I use Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz, Blues, and Reggae song titles in naming each piece. The titles are a vital part of the work addressing fragments of the conceptual concern dealing with bodies in socially constructed spaces. In appropriating song titles as painting titles, the work automatically inherits the references, identities, and the history portrayed through the songs. For instance, “If I Rule The World” is a song by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill, who re-imagine their reality with hopes to change it. If successful, it is evident that their first rule of action would be to “free all [the] sons.” Louis Armstrong in the song, “Black And Blue” wonders what he did to be so black and blue, and concludes that his only sin is in his skin.
Dialectically overlaying these poetic gestures onto my paintings causes the work to navigate through a history of the struggle-life people of these songs portray. The songs are poetic gestures that mark moments in the timeline of our society and they are as much of visual-marks as these paintings are. In this series, each work becomes a placeholder for the bodies described within the lyrics of each song. Inevitably, the titles of these objects are three-four times removed from the original experience since they are simply referencing the reference of an experience. In this, a mirror affect is unintentionally created leaving patterns of refracting repetitions to serve as part of the aesthetics.
That Black Boy Fly (Kendrick Lamar) 2016 Acrylic on stretched plastic 60"x48"
If I Ruled The World (Nas) 2016 Acrylic on stretched plastic 66"x54"
I'd Free All My Sons (Nas) 2016 Acrylic on stretched plastic 66"x54"
Hands on The Wheels (Schoolboy Q) 2017 Acrylic on stretched plastic 22"x18"
Everything is Everything (Lauryn Hill) 2016 Acrylic on canvas 60"x48"
The Mystery of Iniquities (Lauryn Hill) 2016 Acrylic and tape on canvas 60"x48"
Black and Yellow (Wiz Kahlifa) 2016 Acrylic on canvas 60"x48"
Erase Me (Kid Cudi) 2017 Acrylic on stretched plastic and t-shirt 22"x18"
King Kunta (Kendrick Lamar) 2016 Spray paint of plastic 96"x40"x6"
Don't Touch My Hair (Solange) 2017 Acrylic on stretched plastic 10"x8"
Flawless (Beyonce) 2017 Acrylic on stretched plastic 10"x8"
I'd Rather Go Blind (Etta James) 2017 Acrylic on stretched plastic 10"x8"
Hate Us or Love Us (Migos) 2017 Acrylic on stretched plastic 10"x8"
All Eyez On Me (Tupac) 2016 Acrylic on Plastic 10"x8" One of many paintings from the series "One of These Black Boys." Most of the of the titles for each work in this series is derived from hip hop song titles or song lines. This one is from Tu
All Falls Down (Kanye) 2017 acrylic on stretched plastic 10"x8"
Them Belly Full, But We Hungry (Bob Marley) 2017 acrylic on stretched plastic 10"x8"
XXX (Kendrick Lamar) 2017 Spray paint of plastic 96"x40"x6"
Strange Fruit (Nina Simone) 2016 Acrylic on stretched plastic 10"x8"
Duck Season (Wu-Tang) 2017 Acrylic on stretched plastic 48"x36"