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