Working within the discourse of abstract and figurative portraiture, I create photographs regarding selfhood and social movements. My work explores the unnerving possibility of multiple meanings, dual perceptions and limitlessness in the seemingly binary. Drawing repeatedly on Black feminism thought, I capture Black women with poise and naturalness that exudes a sense of easy. Photographed in classical studios, on - location domestic backdrops and neighborhoods, I am determined to catch every moment in the subjects’ life.
My work examines divine love within Black female relationships while redefining social racial landscapes. I’m studying womanhood and Blackness by seeking how my Black women friends and family navigate personal and social histories. Throughout my portraiture work are themes of matriarchal community and spirituality.
The roots of my work lies in art historical narrative portraiture in paintings and candid, documentary photography and vernacular family photographs. The process of crafting this work is produced in a film camera by photographing the same subject multiple times but using only one frame of film. By photographing them multiple times, without knowing the final resulting image, I’m creating several portraits of the same woman. Often beginning as a narrative portrait and ultimately becoming an abstract portrait, the image becomes an imprint of their visibility, their alterity gone.
The visual representational power of Black women is not something viewers usually see in art history. Presently, Black culture and its people are increasingly becoming more visible; however Black femininity is still challenged by white society. To be Black is to be the other and Black womens’ existence is overpowered by a history of being excluded from the Feminists and Black Power movements. I view my chronicle of the Black women in my life, including myself, as a cultivation of the conception of the Black feminism. I’m working towards aiding the ways Black women are artistically visualized.
When looking at my photographs, I want to engender the viewer to see the beauty in Black women. The authority of my work is not in the portraiture, instead it is the measure of my ability to showcase the primordial form of my subjects and to share their bodies with simplicity.