As a young black man, I document the “Post-Racial” world around me as a way of getting a better understanding of a culture that I am a part of, but was not raised in. I grew up in a predominantly white suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, where I was immersed in an environment that exposed me to racial bias and discrimination on a personal and communal level. My perceptions of African Americans were informed by the media’s white lens; my work is coming to terms with my own identity. It also functions to alleviate the loss of culture I experienced because of my parents’ attempt to assimilate into white society.
I work simultaneously with sculpture, installation, and time-based media to reveal the connections between the realities of our culture and the way it is perceived through a multitude of social institutions such as education, news media, and contemporary culture. Through the use of footage collected from Youtube and Worldstar Hip Hop along with analog processes like silkscreen and traditional casting methods, I am presenting the concerns and interest of black/brown people within spaces they are still denied access to. Varying digital literacies structure our “real” experiences; through using a variety of media that has given target audiences, such as Fox News and juxtaposing it with iconography assigned to black culture, such as basketball and guns, ideas of race, access, and the role played larger media come into consideration. By using familiar and accessible materials, I speak to the collective experience of “othered” communities, specifically that of African American men.The work speaks to something larger, calling for societal reflection as a whole and begs the question of we truly exist in a “Post-Racial” era.
My art is my activism, and the gallery is where I use my visuals to connect audiences across backgrounds and spark necessary conversations.