A is for Afrofuturism + Afrofuturists:

Afrofuturism: emphasis is on the artistic cultural production of the African Diaspora, and the utopian vision of a people re-imagining an escape from majority constructs, in order to re-create a context that situates them into majority–on their own playing field. 

Alondra Nelson’s definition:

Afrofuturists: are a group of people of the African Diaspora whose philosophy is postmodern; yet, their viewpoint is of Afrofuturism which is described as: “a way of looking at the world; it is a sort of canopy for looking at Black diasporic artistic production. It is even an epistemology that is really about thinking about the future, thinking about the subject position of Black people and how that is both alienating and about alienation and because the alien becomes to figure quite centrally in Afrofuturism—the outsider figure. It is also about aspirations in majornity and having a place in majornity and it is about speculation and utopia. Part of why it is Afrofuturism in particular is that part of resilience in Black culture and Black life is about imagining the impossible, imagining a better place, a different world” (Alondra Nelson, 2010).


the desk | where magic happens


“if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”-albert einstein



the culturally curious + visually inclined answers the questions you wish you would have asked, shares their works in progress and finished works that you will want to collect, while giving you an exclusive peak of their desks—where  magic happens.



allison watkins | textile artist + closet magician.

home base: san francisco, california

magic trick: redesigning closets, one thread at a time.



I. on voyeurism:  if you could choose anyone from the past or present, without their permission, whose closet would you select to photograph and embroider. why?


allison watkins: someone with a lot of pattern and color in their closet—maybe cleopatra? is that the obvious answer?  i saw that frida kahlo’s closet is open to the public in mexico city—her clothing would definitely be interesting to see in person. 




I. is your closet as organized as your beautiful artwork?


aw: no, not at the moment. it goes through stages of being messy and organized—right now my closet is overflowing with clothing collected over the years—i really need to pare down but it’s difficult because i often place sentimental value on pieces of clothing.  at some point, i’ll document the messiness. 



I. are you ever surprised, after spending hours embroidering, when a piece turns out better than you ever imagined? if so, how often does the magic happen?


aw: yes, after working on them for long periods of time, several months at least,  they begin to transform in ways i hadn’t expected. the transformation takes a long time, and it’s difficult to visualize how this type of space will turn out; i can do multiple drawings beforehand, but it’s the embedding of the thread and repetitive process that brings them to life. 



top V tools:


analogue: needle, thread, fabric, paper maps, medicinal plants





digital: n/a


-I: tanekeya word

managing editor

creative + art director

& literature + culture editor

live in neon. 

support the peculiar woman movement here

what’s on your desk?

if you are a peculiar woman and are interested in being profiled in  “the desk” series please contact tanekeya@neonVmag.com with the subject: “the desk inquiry” please provide a link to your brand and why you are interested in being featured by neonV mag.  


i have loved the destiny series of montreal based visual artist louis boudreault for over a year. as a visual artist, currently working on a large-scale series, this speaks to my love of vintage photographs, heroic scale art and the innocence of childhood. meshing cultural elements into a fresh perspective is not the easiest task; yet, louis has effortlessly captured a lost moment in each of the great’s history–the moment before the world realized their greatness and they realized their genuis.

louis boudreault + his works:

alexander caulder

andy warhol

egon schiele

elvis presley 

mahatma ghandi

louis armstrong 

miles davis

pablo picasso

van gogh

-I: tanekeya word

managing editor

creative + art director

& literature + culture editor

P is for Post Black

Post Black: is rooted in Blackness, but not restricted by Blackness. [Toure 2011, Who’s Afraid of Post Blackness, xi]. An emphasis is on Blackness, [art] reflects experiences that were colored by the social constructs of being Black in America. As a social construct, Post Blackness deconstructs Black identity. 

 Thelma Golden + Glenn Ligon’s definition: 

Post Black Art: “a clarifying term that has ideological and chronological dimensions and repercussions. It is characterized by artists who are adamant about not being labeled as ‘Black’ artists, though their work was steeped, in fact deeply interested, in redefining complex notions of blackness” (Golden, 2001, Freestyle, 14).


 Ytasha Womack’s definition on an Era:

Post Black Era: “is a time in which the complex diversity within the African American community in the midst of increased opportunity must be recognized and some synergy uncovered” (Womack, Post Black 2010).

[cropped close-up], hair did. “cumulus” ©MMXIV [cropped close-up], hair did. “cumulus” ©MMXIV most little sisters look up to their big sisters, + i am no exception. i’ve always admired my sister’s ability to “do hair.” so, as an ode to her + the magic of Black hair, my new series focuses a lot on our hair. just one of many coming soon.

Made with Instagram

                                              “The Legacy of Romare”

                                            Curated by Danny Simmons 

                                             @ Corridor Gallery [BK, NY]

                                               closes Dec. 22, 2012

”The Legacy of Romare” is an exhibition of ten contemporary female artists whose artworks pay homage to the influences of Romare Bearden. This groups of artists was brought together by Danny Simmons and includes: Stephanie Anderson, Kimberly Becoat, Sadakisha Saundra Collier, Jenne Glover, Clymenza Hawkins, Mirlande Jean-Giles, Shani jamila, Chanel Kennebrew, Alexandria Smith, and Tanekeya Word.