Since I returned to painting in 1995
I have wanted to express the beauty in our African heritage. To
show the diversity that the Diaspora gave us in various other cultures
in the world. I have tried to present our culture as seen not only
in the context of the pain and suffering inflicted on us in the
days of slavery but to bring forward those cultural contributions,
and legacies we left in Spain, France, Italy and other places of
the world. Truly, that is what the Diaspora was about... the dispersion
When looking at the many histories on art and researching
many of the famous old masters, our image is present even in medieval
times. Anti-Black racism in the modern sense was unknown in the
Middle Ages; Blacks were simply part of the human race.
In the latter Middle Ages there were even black saints
and one of the Magi was accurately shown as black. Most literature
on Black American artists is approached as though it was a form
of expression separate from the so-called majority culture. This
critical isolation in terms of art comes from the tradition of
classifying people and their culture by race. I feel the crucial
issue is the quality of work and it’s relevance to the society
in which it was created.
As an artist it is not my color that gives me the
inspiration or the capacity to produce a desired result, but the
ability to be sensitive to the various conditions of life that
face all mankind.
My first showing of some of these paintings was
called “Lost Images Found Paintings from the Soul” reinforcing
the importance of our culture in various parts of the world.
Three shows followed after that. One expanded
on cultural isolation and the other specifically was to present
a new approach to Afro-American figurative art merging the contemporary
and the classical forms.
The objective of my vision is to heighten
the awareness of those who view figurative images in my art and
to stimulate one’s thought and imagination. The end result
is a series of paintings and drawings that form cultural links
between our past and our future.