My work is partly autobiographical and partly involved in a larger national and global conversation. I work at the intersections of Black male masculinity and sexuality in the American imaginary and the systematic consumption of Black bodies from their transport across the globe. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which fashion is a language of consumption and utilizing this language as a means to talk about the ways in which enslaved Africans were etched into ship manifests and diagrams and made inhuman. In this way, I want to reclaim the document of the Stowage of the British Slave Vessel Brookes and utilize it as a textile to implicate the viewer and wearer.
Ultimately, the histories of Black bodies in America is commonly erased from textbooks and mythology. To this end, I want to inject new myths and histories into the grey areas and blank pages and imagine new locations and rituals for the Black body. To do this, I have been drawing on research from Saidiya Hartman, Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Michelle M. Wright, and Danez Smith to reimagine the ideas of strangerdom and consumption of Black bodies.
My goal as an artist is to initiate an additional moment of confoundment for the viewer in their consumption of my work. I am a craft-based artist working in jewelry, sculpture, textiles, book arts, fiber arts, fashion, photography, poetry and installation. In working with these many disciplines, I want to make work that is tantalizingly beautiful, which draws the viewer in. In doing so, I want them to be captivated by the work until they realize there are bodies printed or alluded to, and by that time they are already consuming the work and implicated in a very visceral and bodily way. I believe this moment is generative because it can function as a way to reengage with these images and histories the American consciousness has become numb to: lynched bodies, the systematic murder and destruction of Black bodies, diagrams of slave vessels, and other tough and chewy parts of American history, which is so easily left out of classrooms.