"CitizenSHIP" Riverside Art Center, Ypsilanti, Michigan . Opening August 2, 2019



"CitizenSHIP" WHAT IS THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE PEOPLE ANS THE STATE?

ROVERSIDE ART CENTER

IPSILANTI, MICHIGAN

 

PRAYER | PROTEST | PEACE IN PAINT  2017

Oil on canvas,  mixed media collage   108 in X 48 in

 

PRAYER,  PROTEST  & PEACE In PAINT , a triptych, is comprised of three paintings;

FREE ME, WE INSIST! & HISTORY. Each painting is a response to the reading The

War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in

Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind by Safiya Bukhari. It is very rich material,

raw with truth, stirred up many different emotions and memories, in the end, I come to

the realization these cultural divides still exist, the prison industrial complex is very real,

needs to be dismantled, and prejudice and inequality remain as prevalent as ever.

Freedom comes with responsibility. As a multi-media artist I was also inspired by the

album “Freedom Now Suite” which stands alone, and remains the best-known jazz work

ever created containing explicit political content, written by drummer Max Roach and

Chicago Singer/Songwriter, Oscar Brown Jr. with vocals by Abbey Lincoln.

I have tried to adopt an attitude of improvisation, and like these two artists, to use my art,

in this case my visual art, to the service and memory of the civil rights movement and the

injustices suffered by the members of the Black Panther Party, some of whom are still

incarcerated after 30 years, just for their political views. I express here my fascination

with surface and the physicality of the painted surface, and respond through this painting,

to the work of Roach & Brown. The work emerges after experimenting with mediums,

and monotypes. I developed an approach to image making that is both influenced by my

painting and influenced by my printmaking. I employ the concepts of physicality this

work; paint, text, and surface. The materials themselves become part of the experience.

The textured papers, and thick fiber pastes are physical in nature, and the large canvas

allows my whole body to become part of the process of encountering the creative spirit. I

believe that art can transform lives. I believe that art can heal lives. In this work,

through these readings, and through this music, the triptych is an effort to give back

through my visual art to a wounded community. My work becomes a communication

between the inner self and the outer world through Poetics.