My practice is part therapy, part social commentary. I work across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories that range in topic and scope. In recent years, I have found that I have been making art to empower the disenfranchised and powerless, and to combat the systematic oppression that plagues our world today. This work explores how identity is informed by mythology and story. I use mythology to create conversation around how we see ourselves and others. In the past, I have created work that brought people together and fortified the souls of the people in the most pain and the most struggle. Now I make work that not only focuses on pain, but also on the joy of those people. Through my work, I am having a conversation with myself. When that conversation is made public, my hope is that people can see themselves in my work and it helps them grow, along with myself.
My work is constantly changing and evolving, just as I am. There are a few subjects that consistently present themselves in my work. Identity is one such concept that I have spent much of my life dissecting. My work is rooted in the Black American experience because that is my experience. I am motivated by how I internally process the idea of race and how it has personally affected my life, as well as the larger socio-political implications of race in America and the world. I explore this concept from the place of an artist that sees the importance of lending his talents to help liberate, emboldened, and protect Black people and culture through the stories I tell. I also use the themes of identity to critique the cultural norms and practices of Black America and the troupes thrust upon us by the status quo, as well as the trauma that comes with everyday life.
Through my exploration of identity, I have learned that getting at the heart of why certain people are treated less favorably than others also leads to questions of power. Thus, the concept of power, what it is, how it is used, and who gets to use it, is also at the core of my work. I examine it from the viewpoint of the powerless, and lately, I have been compelled to try to understand how people respond/ react when they become powerful. This exploration has led me to examine my own privileges that come with my gender and sexual orientation. In this deeper exploration of myself, I have been meditating more specifically on our societal relationship to the environment and femininity and how those two are related. Our views of power, value, and care are linked when we look at the culture of extraction, utility, and an ever renewable and distinctly one-sided relationship that exemplifies the way we treat the environment and women. This recent development in thinking has come from my own self-analysis of my interactions with the world as a man and how society has taught me to be in relationships with women in my life, namely my mother as well as romantic partners. I am interested in creating work from all of my experiences and identities, not just my racial identity.
Power is enforced by Identity and they are both held up by Mythology, a third recurring theme in my work. Race, gender, even power itself, I believe, are myths. Myths that we buy into for safety, comfort, and understanding the world as it comes to us. We can teach and connect to each other through the stories we believe and the myths we tell. Each of these elements--Identity, Power, and Mythology--inform each other, and understanding and unpacking them is my driving motivation at this moment.