This body of work titled “Black Alchemy,” approaches the issues of identity, racial passing, abstraction, the historical archive, and the studio, while also thinking about ideas of the black artist as subject and blackness as material. My work explores the question of what black art is, and what a black artist is in the context of representation of the black experience, the discourse of photography, and radical movement re-questioning social and racial justice, while engaging abstraction as a tool to shift questions of identity within an established, often monolithic historical narrative.



These issues are explored through photography and the labor of painting. These works are comprised of a culmination of black and white photographs composed from a large format 4x5 view camera, of constructed spaces and still life’s within the studio, and intervened images from the archive of a 1952 EBONY Magazine quiz about racial passing. In the assorted paintings, I use oil stick and stencil mark making on Japanese paper. The surface of the paintings are worked and aggregated with stencil marks and the hand, also upstretched and mounted to the wall in a draping manor, in a resemblance of skins.



The photographs construct a physical representation of my internal monologue about space, history, and my response to found artifacts in the studio. The paintings explore language, genealogy, DNA, and the labor of mark making in an attempt to create a personal tribal existence. An existence of marks that is native to me but foreign in meaning to the viewer but recognizable in method. This allows the formation of my mono tribal existence in the modes of making art in the studio, and that existence becoming a reality when I put those objects out into the world. Within the abstraction of the paintings is a coded lexicon, though personal it allows the viewer to project onto the objects based on the multiplicity of their own experience(s). 

Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Black Alchemy, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 80inx64in, oil stick on japanese paper, 2015
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Untitled, 50inx39in, oil stick, black gesso, and linen tape on japanese paper, 2015
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Untitled,40.5inx33in, oil stick on japanese paper, 2015
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Untitled, 79inx16.5in, oil stick on japanese paper, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Black Alchemy, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Herman Shaw, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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Untitled, 22inx17in, 2015

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"Which is negro? Which is white?" Ebony Magazine, April 1952 - #1, 5x7in, 2015

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"Which is negro? Which is white?" Ebony Magazine, April 1952 - #2, 5x7in, 2015

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"Which is negro? Which is white?" Ebony Magazine, April 1952 - #3, 5x7in, 2015

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"Which is negro? Which is white?" Ebony Magazine, April 1952 - #13, 5x7in, 2015

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"Which is negro? Which is white?" Ebony Magazine, April 1952 - #15, 5x7in, 2015

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"Which is negro? Which is white?" Ebony Magazine, April 1952 - #17, 5x7in, 2015

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