Artist's Statement ~ 2017

My current project (10/2017–ongoing) is entitled: (Self) Portrait through The Amerykahn Prism. This work in progress, when it is completed, will have variable dimensions of approximately 8 x 8 feet (roughly, 2.5 x 2.5 meters). It will be comprised of about 200 small pictorial elements(“pixels”) that consist of black mirrors, portraits of a wide variety of individuals, still life compositions, and symbolic constructions that are painted on Arches® oil paper. Individual “pixels” measure from 20 x 20 centimeters (8 x 8 inches) up to 20 x 40 centimeters (8 x 15.75 inches).

In this work I explore a semblance of my own familial history, and its interrelationship with various socio-cultural mythologies of the component histories in which we all participate. My principal project is to visually interrogate the concept of “identity” as I locate myself within the context of an allegedly monolithic group of people who are commonly referred to as “African-American, or simply as, black.”

Although, I have conceived of this painted visual exploration as a self-reflexive exercise that takes form along the lines of the Jungian concept of mandala (a symbolic construct that represents the universe; moreover, a dream schemata that orders fragments into the realm of completeness, wholeness), I invite the viewer to participate as I develop and explore this narrative through a series of images and representations of abstract ideas that are found (and sometimes hidden, or suppressed) within our collective memory (or, cultural memory). This work does not necessarily propose any singular historical viewpoint, but instead seeks to prompt an ongoing line of inquiry in which I hope the viewer will participate and continue to engage.

It is important to observe that this mandala form does not obtain structure from geometric exteriority, but through the perceptual event horizon of light represented as painted form, primarily the diverse facial and figural forms of (a) people. Yes, A People!