Creating art can be a very egocentric exploration. As an artist I find myself drinking in the world around me, contemplating the landscape while metabolizing whatever experiences are served to me moment to moment. My joys, frustrations, sorrows and curiosities get channeled into a mixed media amalgamation, coming together to tell a story. My reality. The reality of the environment in which I live. The influence of society around me. But does it even matter. If I specifically set out to make an impact does it make my art more important? Deeper? Will the viewer appreciate it more? This is a question that stays with me and causes me to look inward as I approach new work.
There are obviously those who love art simply for arts sake, yet as artists we have an opportunity to teach, to enlighten and to soften the reality that many do not always want to face head on. Most recently artist Nona Faustine called attention to the historical practice of slave trading in Manhattan by posing nude at former New York city slave trade sites.
Artists have an opportunity to be cultural documentarians reflecting the current trends and patterns within the community and world around us. Race and equality have become an especially necessary focus and Faustine's work supports this urgency. I am finding myself following this same path as I contemplate the racial injustice that continues to plague our country, gun control, gender parity, innocent black men being gunned down again and again. These issues are far too heavy on my mind to not eventually show up in my work.
Once in that zone of creating I find that I am merely the messenger in bringing forth the story. I look forward to seeing what awaits (hopefully) as much as you. Stay tuned.