This ongoing personal project is a response to the nuances of Black identity in America. There is a desire to commodify and quantify Blackness using a lens that often includes disproportionately negative stereotypical tropes. Blackness is truly amorphous and there are many definitions of what it means to be Black in this country.
Through a series of portrait based collages I seek to explore Blackness and defy the gaze that others use to view and/or appropriate Black culture. This gaze vacillates between a ferocious consumption of Blackness and an effort to shrink it so that it may be contained.
The constructing and building of the sculptural components of this work speak to how our image, identity, and Blackness are constructed. The cutting and piecing together, layer after layer, the covering and revealing reinforce this notion. I have also considered the sculptures emerging from the photographs and how they are read. How they cannot be taken at face value, much like our identities.
*This project was executed with support from the Regional Arts Commission