Artist Statement

My artwork is inspired by memory, Black Feminist literature, along with the aesthetics of the African diaspora and the Black Arts Movement. My creative process reexamines childhood experiences in my mother’s hair salon; beauty rituals of U.S. Black women; and the consuming male gaze in Western art to create figurative and abstract images about identity. These influences affirm my position as a queer Black woman seeking to make socially conscious artwork through painting, drawing, and assemblage. These three ways of making channel different expressions of the same visual narrative with color and subject matter to suggest cultural relationships among abstraction and the human figure. The palettes throughout my artworks are conscious of color as a cultural symbol, such as red, black, and green, to expand definitions the black aesthetic. In my studio, I paint until I exhaust my solutions, then I switch to working with paper until it isn’t satisfying me. Assemblage comes into play when painting and drawing have been cast aside; not to say it is a last resort, but there is a cyclical energy of making in my studio. The process of creating an assemblage piece is similar to building up layers of a painting. The materials used in my assemblages are evocations of Black women’s intersectionality; performing a kind of call and response to brown canvas, black gesso, hair extensions, nail tips, cardboard, paper bags, ornate wooden picture frames, hair beads, and sequins as visual elements to Black feminine energy.