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Artist Profile

Through the use of mediums including animation, sculpture, film, paints, and chalk pastels my art mainly attempts to highlight differences of perspective of self versus someone else and the idea of being othered by the gaze of another. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood on Chicago’s west with a particularly privileged family, identifying as queer, being African American, and liking things that others said were not “Black” really pushed me to explore the subject. During my study of art history, three things really struck me: The art history canon and the whiteness it perpetuates, the subject of the gaze and the idea of nude vs. naked, and the agency of the subject.
My exploration of this topic started with a series of portraits the composition and view of the subject chosen by different people including one by the subject themselves. The juxtaposition of these images were meant to reveal the contrast through difference of color, age, and pose. When I began to work in animation this manifested during Drawing for Animation where my Character Tobias Kinte, a caricature of African Americans represented through a lense of slavery and based off of the iconic Kunta Kinte/ Toby, started to take shape. I compiled a lot of the stereotypical features assigned to black people by racists and added them to him. The character has since become a recurring presence in my work from drawings to sculpture to animation highlighting the warped view that America held and also clings to presently about African Americans.

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