What I do artistically is part of what I believe can be classified as a distinct genre in art, African American art. It is distinct because it comes out of a particular (although not monolithic) shared historical and sociopolitical reality, one that is unique to African Americans. This art cannot be totally divorced from what is known, as a broad category of art, African art. African art cannot be reduced to a monolithic category that can be easily separated from its expression in diaspora.
Distinctions in the use of color, subject matter, the voice of the art (how the art speaks and what it says), and materials used may distinguish African art from African American art, from African Caribbean, African Haitian, or African Brazilian, etc. Even so, the rhythm of the art and the cadence of the beat will flow with a certain familiarity that is purely African in flavor and therefore unmistakable. This is truer (I believe) of folk artist than it is of the academically trained artist. Especially when the trained artist foolishly allows “a prefabricated technique,” or European artistic imperialism, to construct and dominate their work rather than natural creative curiosity within.
Art that comes out of the spirit and soul of the artist is far more useful than that which is merely the technical manipulation of substances. African American art can therefore be copied technologically, but it cannot be fully reproduced outside of the womb of soul and psyche of those who have been “gifted” existentially with the call to speak with that artistic voice.
African American art is not a mono-vocalization, but the voices of many waters fed by many tributaries of experiences. Empathic/emotional, I like to paint what I can feel. If I don’t feel it, I can’t paint it. I must be moved emotively before I can create artistically. It’s a heart thing, then a head thing, then a hand thing.
So, my art is often complex, and I use a technique I call ghosting. You can see more than one image intersecting and bleeding through others. I love the intersecting of colors and my backgrounds contain the colors used in all parts of my canvas.
I am now trying to tell a story with my art, send a message through my art. I want you to spend time with my artwork. You must follow or read between the lines.