Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BIO / artist statement


my flesh is California

my roots grow upward from Texas

and Louisiana




my spirit vibrates

in African frequencies

been professin’ painter fifteen years

Shona style stone sculptor

ten years




prefer candlelight

over incandescent or florescent

running into my people on the street

over driving

and smoking over drinking

first art instructors:

Uncle Butch

Grand Daddy Early

Pops’ photography

Isley Brothers

Mama’s craftwork

long black cadillacs

and panthers


Chuck D.

reached into my ears

and opened my eyes

El Haj Malik El Shabaz

modeled clear conviction



Gladys Knight

the whole Harlem Renaissance Movement

moves me


Curtis Mayfield


Village Bottoms massive

our collective

I paid academy of art college

to instruct their instructors

was humbled and blessed

with careful guidance

at Laney college

made family by Nicolas Mukomberanwa

at home in Africa

still a nigga

to galleries and police

at home

in america

my art speaks

these experiences

intending to be

beautiful and attractive

harsh and cold

rich textured

smooth and refined

hot like fire


within one body of work

with many varied chapters

visual music

soul stirring imagery

raw-ass mindfunk

blackstrap molasses

straight to the bloodstream

I been called on

to do this

by ancestors


and I




Saturday, July 7, 2012

16 cowries

This body of work came out of the simple desire to "just paint" without having to think too much. I wanted a theme that would facilitate visual freestyle sessions without producing too much randomness or being purely abstract. The theme is taken from a method of divining in the spiritual practices of Ifa tradition in which the diviner throws 16 cowrie shells and reads the positions in which they land. I don't claim to be a diviner, but I was inspired by the idea of "throwing" 16 cowrie shells onto each canvas and deriving meaning from the resulting patterns. At first the result was just 16 abstracted shells and eventually, as the series progressed, I allowed words and other images to come in and out of the picture plane as they came to me. I considered whatever came to me in the form of inspiration to be the voice of the divine. Once each piece had 16 shells the painting was done. The bulk of the paintings in this series were done between 2006 and 2009 although they still emerge from time to time.

eesuu orundide 16 cowries / a love supreme

eesuu orundide 16 cowries / fuck tha police

eesuu orundide 16 cowries / seeds

eesuu orundide 16 cowries / sex

eesuu orundide 16 cowries / who's right