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Artist Statement

Much of my work focuses on the manifestation of identity, particularly black identity. In my portraiture, I often focus on identity and depict the consistently powerful presence of the black figure. I’m frequently looking at the dialect between a history of aristocratic representation and the use of portraiture as a statement of power. In response to this, I elevate my figures to a level of high culture or power that is classically unavailable to them as black females. This claim to power can be as subdued as a figure who is unafraid to confront the viewer with her gaze (as in “Julie”)  or as assertive as a figure cloaked in regalia (as in “Our Lady”). My classical rendering of portraiture diverges and eradicates some of the classic tropes of the western art canon (by my unconventional figures). I view this reformation of who is typically depicted in portraiture (and how) as the juxtaposition of the "old" inherited by the "new”. One artist I’m inspired by is Kehinde Wiley. I particularly look at the sensitivity of his figures and his depiction of urban identity. In my work I explore the contrast between self-identity and social-identity.  This dissonance between the world that you know, what you mean as a symbol in public, and the imposed identity society places upon you, gives that strange and uncanny feeling of having to adjust for this double consciousness.

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