Portraits, Contact (2022)

In my ongoing artistic journey, as exemplified in the series "Portrait(s)," I embark on a profound exploration of self. Within this body of work, I reimagine the photographic portrayal of myself as a vast canvas for abstraction and deconstruction. My primary aim is to delve into the realm of portraiture while simultaneously challenging the pervasive influence of the white gaze. To accomplish this, I employ techniques of concealment, obscurity, and safeguarding to protect my self-image within the frame.

In "Portrait(s), Contact 2022," I introduce a dynamic integration of gestural materials, such as paint and oil pastels. Through this innovative approach, I defy the conventional sanctity associated with archival imagery, boldly leaving my physical mark upon the pictorial plane. During the creation of my works in 2022, my artistic journey predominantly unfolded within the confines of the studio. I only occasionally ventured outside to print archival versions of my studio actions. These archival prints serve as a response to the inherent impermanence of my 2021 works, ensuring their enduring legacy. The intricate process involves printing, enhancing through painting, cutting, or dissolving the photograph, and finally scanning to create a meticulously preserved archive. The result is an archival print that outlasts the original, challenging preconceptions regarding authenticity and value.

Throughout this series, I pose questions that dissect the essence of the original, explore the true nature of a photograph, and unravel the intersections where illusion and authenticity entwine. I closely examine how scanned artworks manipulate our perceptions of the real and the artificial. As a Black woman navigating diverse spaces, I contemplate the moment when my artistic work is recognized as authentic, original, and invaluable. This ongoing exploration remains at the heart of my artistic practice, inviting viewers to join me on a journey of introspection and discovery.