Darker Gods at The Lake of Dreams is the second chapter of my Afro-Surrealist art saga, Darker Gods, a mythical parable that introduces a universe where people of color are Gods. Challenging the devaluing nature of Western representations of Blackness, works in this epic are made through a Black aesthetic for Black people to see ourselves in all of our grace and complexity.

The exhibition opened to the public Friday, June 18, 2021 at Oakland’s leading cultural arts venue, Betti Ono Gallery and runs through August 13th. The exhibition is the culmination of my virtual residency with Betti Ono and is curated by Anyka Barber, Founder/ Director/ Curator of Betti Ono.

The Story Behind Darker Gods at The Lake of Dreams

In this episode of the trilogy, we follow the journey of John Icarus (also known as Black Icarus) the only mortal to ever see The Garden of Low Hanging Heavens where the Darker Gods walk on this plane of reality. Icarus escapes lynching where he was being tarred and feather by flapping and flalling his arms, while having his neck in the nose. Through his sheer will to survive, those feathers bound to his arms and became wings, allowing Icarus to escape the hangman’s noose and find salvation atop a holy mountain, where The Garden of Low Hanging Heavens resides.

While exploring the garden, Icarus stumbles upon a child god, Blake the Great, trapped by chains at the shore of his Lake of Dreams. Blake tells Icarus that a pale horse had come into the sacred garden uninvited and had tricked the child god by offering him the enchanted chains that now held Blake in place, for a chance to drink from The Lake of Dreams. The horse drank from the lake and consumed it down to its last drop, then, leaving the child god in chains, moved on, going throughout the garden, encountering other Gods, tricking and hurting them and their followers, and consuming everything in its path. Blake the Great offers Icarus a wager, if he could find the horse and keep it, retrieve the key to the chains and free the boy god, then Blake would let Icarus go out into the lake and fish out his wildest dream.

Learn more at DarkerGods.com

View exhibition images of the first chapter of the epic, Darker Gods in The Garden of Low Hanging Heavens here.