My work continually has a realistic depiction of people, either in sewn thread, fabric collage, paintings, or drawings. The content becomes the person... the body... and questions, “Where does the individual end and the community begin?”. By breaking down identity through culture, clothing, family and other personable concepts, I observe living in America today. Now, I want my work to establish an emotional connection to the audience and expand the definition of public art in referencing the scale, materials, access, and audience. Art teaches us to see – and see differently. Paralleling the cycle of making artwork and stepping back, art allows me to critically self examine my behaviors formed from culture and a lower social class. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is crucial to the thought process behind my art practice.
People fail to thrive, as their basic needs are suppressed or never met and do not have the leisure to worry about mental healing. For these reasons, I use my skill set as a painter to experiment with fabrics, found materials, paints, woodworking, and video projections, to realistically depict people in my work.
With easy access to visual and performing artists and cultural icons, phones expand the definition of public art. This virtual and non-site specific art allows people to stay attuned with ideas kin to hip hop. Hip hop is pop culture. Art in a contemporary sense will enable me to unveil complexities and incongruities of everyday people, with the lense of thinkers like Dr. Cornel West and Dave Chappelle. Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time is what a pinpoint for what I am aiming to do with my work, and show a perception and bending of time, being a person aware of the past and future self. Heidegger and Nazism is not to be ignored. We live not with the sentiment of “don’t meet your heroes”, but rather history is messy, and as I take to personal narrative, I’m asking how I feel and what is my understanding of people.
Like hip hop, I sample different time signatures to create nonlinear narratives. I am investigating the unexpected imagery in the expected place. Fabric as a material has been a recurrence in my work because clothing is an identifier that crosses cultures and generations. The utility of the material gives a built-in history into the artwork along with certain techniques applied, it can be something beyond what is traditionally thought of as an artist’s medium. Clothing reflects the wearer, attaching ideas to images, which then reflects all of our biases. It not only has the capacity for great interconnection with people, but the judgment of another person’s belongings (clothing) will fall short.
The trajectory of my work will continue exploring identity through markers of skin, clothing, and lyrics in songs acting as protest music. I am looking at the problem of identity, by pairing concepts broadcasted by comedians, artists, and musicians with the imagery of physical family photos to virtual documentation seen on social media outlets. Perception matters in a world of a social contract. I am a product of my environment. I am my environment, the block and the house I grew up in. The same way my neighborhood is seen as is reflected in the way people perceive me, and these buildings need to be humanized to show families live here.