People have been asking questions about my current show and I would love to share some insight with you about how the show came together as well as the research behind the works. I will start with explaining the over all concepts and then will create a couple posts about individual artworks. In this first post I will explain the overall concept behind the show, using my artist statement. In the next few posts I will describe the research and concepts behind the individual works.
|What you see as you walk into the gallery.|
The drawing technique of ink and wash along with the communication aspect of graphic design are both influential in my current work. I tend to focus on social issues; the most recent work deals with the history of African American religious culture.
This body of work addresses various aspects of African American religious culture. Make it Plain deals with some of the history behind a small sample of African American religious leaders as well as a variety of religious traditions. My goal with this show is to give an overview of basic African American history (that we are not taught in school) as well as a basic overview of how slavery, African American history, and African American theology interact with each other. I addressed the culture that individuals like Malcolm X and James Cone were responding to to help the viewer understand American history from a more diverse viewpoint.
I understand that the history of colonialism and slavery, as well as the effects of both is not a pleasant topic but it should not be ignored, swept under the rug or sugar coated. My goal with this show is to present the raw reality of America’s past and the history of African American culture as a response to that past.
The end of institutional slavery did not solve the many problems of racism in America. Malcolm X responded to this hate by saying that the African American population must learn to love themselves. James cone combined the self-love of Malcolm X with Martin Luther King’s ideas of loving others to form the view that we must love ourselves so that we can love others. Cone also discussed a Jesus of the oppressed; a Black Jesus that oppressed people can relate to.