While debating demanding topics such as race, religion, or war, it is simple enough to become polarized, and see situations in either black or white, right or wrong. These tactics may satisfy individuals whose position depends on employing policies or implementing strategies that promote specific agendas for a specific constituency. But as an artist, it is more important to create a platform that moves us past alliances, and begins a dialogue that informs, questions, and in some cases even satires our divisive issues. Without this type of introspection, we are in danger of having apathy rule our senses. We can easily succumb to a national mob mentality, and ignore individual accounts and memories. With my work I am creating an intersection where body and place, memory and fact are merged to re-examine human interactions and cultural conditions to create a narrative that requires us to be present and profound.
Upcoming shows and exhibits:
August 9th through September 7, 2013
Maus Contemporary Art, Burmingham, Alabama
I will be presenting work at ArtPadSF this upcoming weekend, May 16 - 19th, 2013 showing with 3.9 Collective in Room #26 and with Artspan Selections in Room #48 at the iconic Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy St @ Larkin St, SF 94109
Tipping Point (c) 2013
"Rituals of Water" IcTus Gallery, January 2013.
IcTus gallery is located on 1769 15th St. @ Albion (Between Valencia and Guerrero) San Francisco, CA, 94013
Rituals of Water:
Ebb, Transition, and Dispersal
Water, the most fundamental requirement for human culture, has historically been both revered and subjugated. Water has been the center of spiritual practices, from being baptized and claiming a name, to having our remains dispatched to the sea upon our passing. It has functioned as the source of our physical and economic stability, and as a tool that has reshaped terrains for our comfort. As a medium of transport, countries have used it to project their military by traversing and securing its shores.
Water is literally part of our being. Our bodies are composed of between 55% - 65% water, and without it we would perish - a fact often used as leverage in disputes between nations. And as we turn our eyes to the stars and search for life on distant planets, our first hallmark for the existence of life is the presence of water. At many points in history, water has been a means to an end. The resources acquired through naval voyages have often been at the expense of others, and in some cases, the newly discovered subaltern have themselves become the resource to be exploited.
The objective of all cultures has been either to live in harmony with water or conquer it. Water can act as an agent of disruption and change. People of African descent have been especially effected by this exposure. The history of water and the African Diaspora has left a wake of experiences that include abductions and transport onto slave ships, and immersion into an alien culture via baptism, to remove any traces of past faiths. Water has served as a weapon to scatter activists during the Civil Rights Movement, and water overwhelmed ill-prepared levies, creating a catastrophe for the mostly poor and African American communities of New Orleans during hurricane Katrina.
The work I have created for this exhibition is a documentation of the allegory of water in the context of the African Diaspora. The body of work: a series of large-scale drawings and one installation, is divided into four thematic sections: Transition (Middle passage), Transformation (Baptism), Resistance (Civil Rights), and Dispersal (Hurricane Katrina). By categorizing the topic in this manner, I've not only created a time-line, but I've also produced a record of how an element can serve in mundane, transcendent and malevolent capacities.
Humanity has not only survived through aqueous sexual reproduction, but also through a desire to pass on traditions and values to our descendants. The people of the African Diaspora are no different in their need to bestow knowledge and experiences to future generations. With this project, I seek to contribute to this evolving body of history, because through each memory reclaimed, shared, and examined, our experience can become more nuanced, and perhaps even more meaningful.
December 2014, Los Angeles, CA