Annuale 9 Honorable Mentions
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Immediately following the sudden unexpected death of my husband of 58 years, I instinctively carried a camera throughout the whole experience. Recording these shared moments and emotions was healing for my family and myself.
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Clay & Ash
While spending time in PNG (Papua New Guinea) I was exposed to some of the traditional dances and costumes from the different tribal groups. The Simbu (Chimbu) have this tradition of painting their bodies with a skeleton design used to intimidate some of their rival tribes. That was the inspiration for this body of work, but with a more contemporary twist.
Some of the men covered their bodies with white clay found in the nearby river, and the other men painted their bodies with a mixture of ashes (from fire wood) and water.
Earthy materials and human life come together in this series of portraits of men covered in clay and ash. Following the shapes that we sometimes find in nature brings humans and the land together, and by using earthy materials to cover their bodies, we take away the identity of the individual to focus on the inner spirit and the relationships between them in a graphic way. It is an abstract of how humans interact with their peers.
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Who Do You Know Here
The inspiration for this project is not one from a material point, but one that is a derivative of my life. I took from my own life of assimilating to American/White culture and questioning it entirely while looking at the works of Latoya Ruby Frazier, Carrie Mae Weems, Gordon Parks, and Brian Finke. I took a camera wherever I felt comfortable and wherever I felt it was acceptable to the members of the fraternity.
My work is about the minority in this instance. Where individuals will be chastised for simply being part of something the majority does not partake in. It goes to a place of identity for myself as well, being a male black artist in an old row fraternity. Who am I within the confines of this structure? As an artist and from a working class/lower-middle class family, am I one of “them”? How can a black male like myself accept, push forward, and critique this system while still being part of it?