Surulere

Surulere, 2017

“Surulere” – digital giclée canvas, 60″w x 40″h (152.4 x 101.6 cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

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The word “Surulere” is yoruba for “patience is profitable. There is a drapery from the Yoruba region in West Africa (parts of Nigeria and Benin) currently at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond. The craftsperson likely was not literate, and inverted the “L” on the piece.

The painting follows that result and that spirit.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Nor Man Lieu Is

“Nor Man Lieu Is” – digital giclée canvas, 50″w x 40″h (127 x 101.6 cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

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Dedicated to Norman Lewis (Nor-Man-Lieu-Is), an influential mid 20th century artist who explored abstract expressionism, and African American symbolism.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Shark Island

Shark Island, 2017

“Shark Island” – digital giclée canvas, 60″w x 40″h (152.4 x 101.6 cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

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In the late 19th Century, there was a land grab competition in the African continent, and Germany sought to make their colonial imprint in the Namibia region in Southwest Africa. The Herero people revolted against German rule, at one point killing over 100 German settlers. Reinforcements went sent and the Herero were vanquished. Guerrilla warfare ensued, and the German response was to ship the Herero, and the Nama people who also rebelled, to concentration camps. One of the worst was located on Shark Island, off the southern coast.

This coincided with the Eugenics movement in science, and German doctors committed atrocities on the island in their attempts to prove Aryan superiority.

The irony of using barbarity to support a disfavored science is what brought forth this painting.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Kiss My Black Ass, You Colonial Parasite

KMBAYCP

“Kiss My Black Ass, You Colonial Parasite” – digital giclée canvas, 40″w x 60″h (101.6 x 152.4 cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

Eschewing all reactionary takes based upon the confrontational title; “KMBAYCP” is meant as an illustration of the frustrations of having a prevailing foreign cultural paradigm looming over another’s social structures, as a legacy of the forces of history; coupled with the condescending nature taken by said prevailing cultural paradigm when challenged about its suffocating influence.

The towering white presence; the black thorn in its side; the blood stained grounds; and an overall sense of emptiness… all symbolic of that feeling.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Black Actors

Black Actors, 2017

“Black Actors” – digital giclée canvas, 53.3″w x 40″h (135.4 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

In a memorable skit from “Chappelle’s Show” Wayne Brady and Dave refer to themselves amicably as black actors, referring to the struggle of making it in Hollywood.

I came to use it as well as a term of endearment with a friend who was wrongfully convicted of a crime, and subsequently deported.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Chi

Chi, 2017

“Chi” – digital giclée canvas, 60″w x 40″h (152.4 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

In Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart,”the concept of chi is an individual’s personal god, whose merit is determined by the individual’s good fortune or lack thereof.

The painting seeks to interpret the introspective aspects of such a concept.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Albino in Ukerewe

Albino in Ukerewe, 2017

“Albino in Ukerewe” – digital giclée canvas, 40″w x 53.3″h (101.6 x 135.4cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

Ukerewe Island, in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, was at first a place where albino children were willfully abandoned; but has since become an unofficial refuge; creating a population with a high percentage of Africans with albinism.

Albinos in Africa are ostracized; an unfortunate irony given the history of the continent, and the continuous subjugation of its dark skinned people worldwide.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Bush

Bush, 2017

“Bush” (detail) – digital giclée canvas, 53.3″w x 40″h (135.4 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image (NSFW) at Saatchi Art.

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A take on the notion of exoticism and primitivism, and the view that beauty and sexuality from non-European countries could somehow only be appreciated through a special lens. Recalling the early 80’s visuals of Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude, and the early music videos of Duran Duran.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Kente

Kente, 2017

“Kente” (detail) – digital giclée canvas, 40″w x 53.3″h (101.6 x 135.4cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

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Named after the colorfully woven fabric originated in West Africa, “Kente” pays hommage to the ability of clothing to have an impact on identity.

The colors red (symbolizing violence and anger); white (goodness or victory); and blue (love) were purposely chosen to represent an American interpretation.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Mandela Effect

Mandela Effect, 2017

“Mandela Effect” – digital on giclée canvas, 40″w x 40″h (101.6 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

The “Mandela Effect” refers to a phenomenon in which a large number of people share false memories of past events, referred to as confabulation in psychiatry. The actual term was coined by a blogger in 2010 to describe a collective false memory that former South African President Nelson Mandela died during his imprisonment in the 1980s.

This painting had the effect with me once it was done. It felt strongly like something that was created before, whether by me or someone else wasn’t clear. I drew a parallel with the feeling of being connected to the African continent, while never physically being there or having direct ancestral connections; only the cultural assumption.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.