Untitled. Acrylic on wood. 2015.
I actually don’t have a title for this piece, but I would love to hear some thoughts.
Background info: Last year I worked with a team of amazing artists and youth in Columbus, Ohio to design an image for a billboard. The kids we were working with are from the neighborhood where the billboard is located. My main concern was to do an image to empower and uplift them. This image made it into the final 6 images but wasn’t selected for the final 4 (However, another one of my images was selected 🙌❤). This one was special to me though, because it’s genuinely straight from my heart to the black youth of the world. This painting is about community, togetherness, teamwork, love, but also realizing the seriousness of responsibility and being accountable for each other. Everyone wants a crown but are you responsible enough to honor it? We have to know who we are and the power we have by just being alive. I’m tired of the media and I have become adamant about my work being something that counteracts the negative things we can’t help but see every time we tune in. We are everything you see in this painting and more. Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” was a centralized theme while we were working on this project and if this painting had been selected, I wanted the poem to accompany it in some way. The images that made it into the final four will be shown over the course of two years and the unveiling is next weekend. I am honored to have been selected to be apart of this effort and I am very excited about it.
“Healthy foods taste so good…” *insert cookie monsters rap from sesame street* (you a boss if you know what I’m talking about). This is one of my favorites that I did from the ongoing hairfinity series.
“Mother Nature is a common personification of nature that focuses on the life‑giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it in the form of the mother. Images of women representing mother earth, and mother nature, are timeless.”
I felt the need to paint this after I read an article stating “I used to love her” in regards to Lauryn Hill. I don’t really understand a “fan” saying that about someone’s art. We are humans, we’re not robots who are intended to mass produce something that comes directly from our hearts. That is mind boggling and crazy to think that. Obviously there’s been a disconnect between Lauryn and many of the fans she’s made since the 90’s but that in no way devalues what she did and the influence her music still has on people to this day.