This series of work begins with four (40”x60”) realistically rendered portraits, created using chalk pastel and charcoal pencil on black matte board. This work was inspired by a combination of ideas following my experience in and around Port Elizabeth and Joe Slovo Township, South Africa, 2015 and 2017. This series will continue to evolve, as I find myself unable to walk away…

South Africa#1
ITEM#SA1800 / $800
South Africa#2
Item#SA2800 / $800
South Africa#4
ITEM#SA4800 / $800
South Africa#3
ITEM#SA3800 / $800

This work was inspired by my interest in the effects of oppression and social stigma experienced by black South Africans during and after Aparthied, and the connection to personal identity and self-perception. I chose to work on black matte board to symbolize the shame associated with having “black” skin, but developed the portraits using saturated color and layers of texture to symbolize the vibrant energy of Life and Strength still present in the spirit, in spite of.  I became very interested in these two extremes existing coherently inside of the reality of black South African people, and in extension, the eerily similar experience and reality of black American people. Witnessing this intentional separation, segregation, and degradation created an immediate awareness of the cyclical mistreatment of Black and Brown people throughout history, and the social injustices that are happening right in front of our eyes AND in our own backyards. It is our responsibility to recognize privilege; to see injustice; and to speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves…

Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something. Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting.