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
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.