THE GUESTS, no. 1
Oil Paint, Faux Grass, Assembled Objects, LED Light
Aluminum, dreadlocks, faux flowers, roam, bike rim
Assemblage, acrylic, grill
Acrylic, canvas, stuffing material, wood, tape, leather
I began reflecting on what is proverbially referred to as “The Cookout” (a moniker of black communal experience) in the spring of 2020 during the pandemic. Although police brutality toward black people on the U.S. has always been present in this country, racial tensions and the feeling of isolation hit a new milestone in 2020. This was a time when people were staying inside, and not sharing space or food with their neighbors. In the midst of this uncertainty, as well as the assassinations of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, it was only natural to reflect on old times, that take on a romantic and surreal sentimentality. The Cookout is a reflection on black community gatherings that I witnessed all around me at the start of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013. For a few months that year, I resided in Houston, Texas where there were cookouts everywhere. I didn't know anyone there, so I didn't attend any at that time, but appreciated the cultural impact that cookouts had for the Black community. With Cookouts being a major black cultural staple particularly in Texas, I felt this series was a relevant escapist fantasy for spectators feeling isolated, as a celebration of black culture in the U.S. as well as an acknowledgment of the dangers for Black people living in this country. I drew from visual language that I came to associate with the cookouts that I saw in Houston (shiny grilled vintage sports cars and jeeps with giant rims with spinners parked in the driveways, gas and electric grills emitting the smell of burgers and ribs, etc). These elements along with found objects and old artworks helped me to reimagine this convention through installations that existed as public art, and gallery spaces.
THE GUESTS, no. 2
Oil Paint, Plant, Assembled Objects, LED Light
On site assemblage, tape
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