In the African American community, we are slowly rediscovering our history that has not been fully illustrated. It’s my job as visual communicator to review historical information and inform the community by bringing these concepts to life and help visually define our identity. And to distribute these stories about the strengths and trials of the African American community.
I want to illustrate the life-cycle of the inner life of a black person. From innocent to informed. From recklessly defiant to determined. How the weight of American history can either crush you or harden you. And, how either result often has to be hidden from view just to get through the day. The anger of the African-American community is often portrayed as a threat. The anger of “traditional’ communities is depicted as righteous. This paradigm feeds stress and despair back into black lives and thus stokes the fires we try to simultaneously hide and harness.
Currently, there is a newly intensified wave of empathetic consciousness in all forms of artistic output. I want the community to seize this moment in history to create work that tells a story and compels them to seek out empathy and activism for the sake of others. My hope is the work I’m creating can help do that. I want to spark conversations that have, historically, been hard to start.
Concerning the landscapes.
I create free standing crumpled paper still lifes, then photograph them and manipulate the images until I’ve created something that straddles reality and fantasy. I want to show you something familiar and then alter your perspective. These shapes and “views” are familiar but I want to you conjure up places you have been and seen. Not simply reproduce a vista for it’s own sake.
I combine my love of photography, art and graphic design to create works that speak to the viewer by communicating something specific and obvious but also harboring subtexts that require repeated viewing or discussion. My work as a graphic designer has been to communicate quickly and efficiently through logo and branding work. That economy of message can be applied to art.