Considering the history of writing as a point of departure, many of the drawings exist as a kind of record of our use of language, from small drawings to expansive, multi-panel installations and murals. The drawings take up the activity of writing as a way to render an image, creating portraits by layering hand-written or hand-stamped information.
The series looks to our creative community to be guides that help reconfigure history and new narratives that can guide us through social unrest. Each portrait is rendered by writing the phrase, "i lived to be infinity" in repetition...
Latitudes is a series of modular drawings/installations engaged with the convention of writing and the inherent tension between what is included and excluded in historical texts and analysis. When fully assembled they create panoramic wall installations the feel cinematic and immersive. Unassembled, they exist as loose-leaf books.
The March is a visual and performative piece that weaves together ideas about history, allegiance, pride and protest. Using the function of a flag as the point of departure, it considers the power of cultural symbols to project strength and solidarity. A series of portraits of various artists are drawn on large-scale flags that integrate coding technology to make them interactive.
This body of work adapts Sol Lewitt's "Sentences on Conceptual Art" as its point of departure to unpack my artistic activities within this important genre. Lewitt was known for creating idea-based work that was facilitated by systematic execution of a set of guidelines he set forth. In the spirit of this approach...
The Xhosa people have a saying: Ulilandele igama lakhe, which means “He follows his name.” Across many cultures, the act of name-giving by a parent endows the child with an expectation to live up to the name given. As an artist interested in language structures and the way that we absorb and exert ideas, exploring the meaning behind my own name has recently emerged as another channel to consider how the application of names/words carve out our experiences.
Part of my interest in creating portraits by writing a text rests in the idea that language aligns the mind with the body. It gives me a platform to consider the ways in which it permeates all human activity. How we use and navigate language structures determines how we perceive and experience reality.
Language Game is a writing of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s texts in repetition across dozens of sheets of paper, the drawing can be assembled into a grid-based diptych. The verso of the portrait is rendered using an earlier text. The recto uses a later text. Part of my interest in creating portraits by writing a text rests in the idea that how we use language determines how we perceive and experience reality.
Sonder (from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows): the realization that each passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness...
Using Simone’s song as a point of departure, I identified four women who live in Accra and were doing interesting work that contributes to the community. It was rendered by hand-writing a quote by feminist, Audre Lorde: “I AM DELIBERATE AND AFRAID OF NOTHING.”
To commemorate Occidental College’s 125th Anniversary Alumni exhibition, I was asked to created a site-specific drawing, measuring 132 x 96 inches. I selected one of Occidental’s first African American graduates, Janet Stafford, as the subject. Using an excerpt from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the piece touches on the complexities of social change during that time. The title of the drawing, 1952, aptly reflects the year of Stafford’s graduation from the school and the year that Invisible Man was published.
This drawing series consisted of several stamp drawings on paper and a large, hand-written wall drawing that specifically looked at the use of euphemisms as a rhetorical device to convey layers of meaning about the self. The central piece in the show appropriates the phrase, “Terminate with extreme prejudice,” to compose a drawing of Troy Davis, the death row inmate executed by the state of Georgia in 2011, despite controversial circumstances.
Mother, Mother is one of my first drawings using rubber stamps. After coming across photos capturing my paternal grandmother and great-grandmother from their youth, I experimented with stamping the word “mother” in repetition to signify generational and ancestral passages.
This drawing is the first of my portraits that are rendered with text. Written into one my Moleskine, it marks the point on my art practice where I realized that the quality of a written line is no different than that of a drawn line. The challenge of making portraits by purely layering text became a metaphor for the way that we acquire and inhabit language. It also extended the work into the realm of a performative act, in which the process of making it is as important as the finished piece.