Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Sugar

This body of work includes, painting, mixed media, sculpture, installation and video under the umbrella of Sugar as a means of expressing a broad range of impressions and experiences related to the African Diaspora. It does not attempt to deal specifically with the production or sale of a product as much as it is meant to use sugar as a thread that winds through history shaping our reality and informing our culture. The sugar industry itself has been so far reaching over several centuries that there are countless aspects of black life around the globe that can in some way be traced back to it. In a global economy where corporate power often overshadows national boundaries brand names have come to symbolize lifestyles and experiences that are relatable and for purchase internationally. In this context Sugar brand refers to an industry, a food product, a historical legacy and overall symbol for “things desirable”.

Paintings make up a large part of the work in this collection. The first step in the process of their creation is researching and collecting images to work from. Images that shudder my insides whether in a positive or negative way get reproduced as paintings. Before painting happens they are digitally transformed to give them a graphic, industrial aesthetic that also lends to abstraction. On hand built wooden panels I layer spray paint to create dense colorful landscapes over which the graphic images will be painted. I project the images onto the panels and paint directly over the projection to map out a grid. Over time the grid is painted into a refined image that is in itself a reinterpretation of the digital image. Through all of this process the original photographic image is transformed into an organic, multi-dimensional, coded message communicated as much on a subconscious level as a conscious one. They revolve around three loose themes, sugar as a metaphor for love, African royalty and resistance to oppression. Pinks are at the base of the brand’s color scheme saturating the images with sweetness.

Black Love, Acrylic and Latex on Wood Panel, 72x48

Princes of Toro, Spray Paint and Acrylic on Wood Panel, 32x48

Benin Queen, Spray Paint and Acrylic on Wood Panel, 32x48

Behazin N'em, Spray Paint and Acrylic on Wood Panel, 32x48

Baltimore Car Surfing, Spray Paint and Acrylic on Wood Panel, 72x48

David Vs. 5.0, Spray Paint and Acrylic on Wood Panel, 72x48

El Salvador, Acrylic and Latex on Wood Panel, 24x48

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Last Night I Met This Princess

Check out how life can confirm itself. So as an offshoot of my Sugar series i'm working on this series of paintings in which the subject matter is that of African royalty, especially from around the late 1800's and early 1900's. I love the stamp in time. I love the international flavor. Some of the flyest photographs I have ever seen. I wonder about the cost(s).. for this level of flyness. They were international people, as in international trade, of all sorts. I wonder If they sold us to them. Did my ancestors' hides pay for that imported cloth so gracefully draped around your torso? And even still I'm drawn to these images. We are a beautiful people. Or is it that we just make any situation look fly? Two nights ago I started this painting. It's still in progress, but the basic expression has been made. The crazy thing is, last night I met a sista who reminded me very much of the princess whose image the painting is based on, the princess of Toro from Uganda. The resemblance went beyond her hairstyle, which was similar, or her eyes, which were similar, but there was something in the way she carried herself that was similar too. Was like the process of painting this princess conjured her up in reality.

This art thing is a trip.

Would love your feedback on the new style. Kind of a neoclassicalafrostreetpop. Check it out...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Work for 2015

Painting really is a discipline. When it's an active practice it can seem to push forward its own evolution. This is a sneak preview of where my practice is pushing my work within the Sugar series. Much of the aesthetic is a rollover from my tee shirt design work, digitally processed work executed in paint on mounted wood panels. I'm excited about the way these techniques can be used to make images that are both photo-realistic and abstract at the same time. All of these are works in progress.

King and Queens, Spray Paint, Latex and Acrylic on Mounted Wood Panel, 32x48"

Burning Cane Field, Latex and Acrylic on Mounted Wood Panel, 32x48"

God Save the Queen, Spray Paint and Acrylic on Mounted Wood Panel, 32x48"

Will the Real Madonna Please Stand, Spray Paint, Latex and Acrylic on Mounted Wood Panel, 32x48"