Part of my art practice includes research, outreach, and interaction with various industries. Supplies and tools of my trade can’t be found in typical art stores or institutions. What if the rubric of academia denied students from entering art stores? When supplies become questioned or altered, outcomes diversify expanding narratives. The time to question everything is now…
I highly respect artists that dedicate lifetimes to the exploration of one medium. The focus, grit, and endurance are beyond my abilities. As a multimedia artist, it’s been a challenge to work within a patriarchal system. Tirelessly and with much disappointment, my academic exploration was a series of orchestrated yet incredible disasters. Repeatedly, my efforts fell short trying to “master” traditional figure painting.
Many years ago as a young artist, I felt constrained in a world that didn’t know how to translate my identity or focus. Lost in an ocean of confusion, clarity was the wind at my back. Sail pass expectations and embrace truth. Legacy must declare and defend freedom of expression.
My art practice investigates symbols of influence and power that impact perception. During his campaign and presidency, President Donald J. Trump declared repeatedly “…law and order must be restored.” Meanwhile, his policies erode democracy by threatening “sanctuary cities,” attacking the Robert Mueller investigation, and perpetuating false claims. Smith & Wesson’s most popular police handcuffs have been repurposed altering function. The word “DEMOCRACY” is branded and shackled bearing the weight of America’s history, identity, and future.
Artists must create systems and infrastructures that support freedom. The aesthetic vocabulary must be inclusive and uninhibited. I’m not expecting a utopia filled with rainbows, unicorns, or puppies. However, artists in a democracy have the “ability” to speak or express truth. That truth can represent many forms from education to advocacy. Just ask Henry David Thoreau: “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.”