Artist Statements

 

Genesis

Out of the darkness I shape for myself what was once intangible,

An aura to illuminate a path that was once hidden.

Who I was and who I will be. 

The individual speaks to the whole.

Power rises from the assurance.

Confusion is washed away. 

I dance in the Chaos to my own song, 

Embracing a history birthed from the womb of my mind. 

 

Genesis focuses on renegotiating my origins as a Black man who has no coherent ties to his past. Since this past is not readily available to me I offer my own version to the world. I present a reality that speaks to the man I want to become, firmly grounded in the traditions of my past. By renegotiating the photograph I rework the tainted aura brought on by the hardships of the Black experience. 

Unholy

To be raised as an Orthodox Christian while secretly coming to terms with my sexuality resulted in intrusive mental conflicts. Did God love me? Was I wrong for wanting to be with a man? And would God accept me into this “heaven” that I was told was for everyone but me? For years I tried to hide myself from a god I thought would look the other way as long as I did not act on my desires. I did not want to be deemed unholy. Deemed as unworthy by a community I so desperately cling to, I move through this life awaiting my answers.

Treasured

The black male body has been bought, sold, traded, loved, desired, and envied. I have inherited the experiences of my ancestors. Through these commonalities I have come to understand and love my body; to treasure it.

 Erasing everything in the image except the subject and then renegotiating the space allows me to visualize the objectification. The skin of the subject is transformed into a metallic surface. Like the precious metals the color scheme suggests, the black male figure becomes a valued object of beauty, worn away after years of use.