This work is an immersive psychological portrait of myself and my experience of being biracial in society. The viewer is last to be picked for a game. This uncomfortable moment of waiting to be chosen is suspended in time, giving the feeling of unease, tension, and even embarrassment. The figures are supposed to appear mysterious and unknown, as that's how it feels for me to belong to either of those teams/ cultures. Unwanted. Many methods were used to bring texture into the concrete background, one of which included using my own hair. Being biracial, my hair is a huge part of my identity. Turbulent water is flooding the picture plane to convey a feeling of urgency, time is running out.
This is the beginning of my next series of paintings focusing on the role of "other".
"The term Othering describes the reductive action of labelling and defining a person as a subaltern native, as someone who belongs to the socially subordinate category of the Other. The practice of Othering excludes persons who do not fit the norm of the social group, which is a version of the Self."
This painting is part of an ongoing project exploring the spiritual aspects of the art form, drag. For this project, I wanted to bring attention to an otherwise overlooked component of drag: the ritualistic process of getting ready (getting into drag). A meditative routine that involves “putting on a mask” to become your truest self, piecing the puzzle together until you reach your final form. This is why it was important for me to have the painting feel raw and unfinished. With the grid and original draft from underneath showing through in some areas. The expressive face on the left is the only portion that has detail because the ritual has been completed. I intended for the viewer to feel the movement of the different parts coming together. The donning of the wig and lashes being the final step. Masks have been used for centuries by different cultures around the world in rituals, ceremonies, theatrical performances, etc. I think it’s extremely interesting that drag is really no different from that.
This is a portrayal of youth’s perception of their compromised future, false security, and cracks in the system that have been made prevalent this year. The houses represent what we’ve been made to believe is a symbol of prosperity and security. They’re on fire and stacked on top of each other to convey an even more chaotic and dream-like environment. The firemen represent the system (mainly the Trump administration) and its mishandling of the Covid situation in America. The systems that are supposed to help you achieve a secure future are instead sabotaging it. Watch your back!!
My dad has recently discovered health issues relating to his heart and I’m having to start thinking about life without him. I wanted to explore the feeling of having to navigate life without a parent through an abstract depiction.
These are pre civil war plantation ruins in my neighborhood. "The Sneed House" was named after Sebron Graham Sneed, who owned 21+ slaves. The plantation burned down in 1989 and since then has become over grown with foliage. In this piece, the new growth is symbolic. Representing new ideals and new ways of thinking, eventually completely taking over the crumbling old foundation of oppression and systemic racism. Soon you wouldn’t even know it was there in the first place. I also snuck a Black Lives Matter tag on the wall and decided to make the sky black to give off a dark, brooding effect. It was really special to be biracial and make this piece! A long time ago children that were half black and white were usually the product of master and slave (and often killed for that) Here’s to progression and here’s to the future!!!