Art You Need : About Face Artist Talk/Exhibition

I have to confess that in these days and times it can feel a little shallow to be writing about art, culture, and films amidst all that’s going on today in the U.S. Unless you live under a rock, you know that over the weekend Trump (to be clear, if I use that man’s name at all it’s going to be with the same level of respect he showed President Obama during his 8 year term.) instituted a travel ban prohibiting people from 7 predominately Muslim countries. While friends of mine went to Dulles Airport or to protests at the White House, aside from working I found myself spending a good deal of time this weekend researching and contemplating what my place is going to be in the Movement(s). Because to be clear, my conscience doesn’t sit right just sitting back and critiquing everything without trying to figure out where I can fit in. My teenage obsession with the 60’s and all the activism that took place in that decade now seems to make sense to me. It was preparation for now.

So after some conversations with a friend of mine, I realized that among the different talents and strengths I am offering to organizations that are directly working on the many issues near and dear to my heart, my love for the arts can be part of it. All artists, regardless of their medium, use their work to communicate a message of some kind or contribute something to this world. My scarves, hats, and sweaters and the colors I choose to use are all deliberate and are part of a mood and message I want to create for those who wear them. I make body oils because I believe we all should be intentional about using clean, natural products on our bodies for the sake of our health. And I believe in the power of storytelling to change minds and therefore lives- hence why I write.

I also believe in other people’s powers to change lives with their work. Art, music, books, films, television – all kinds of art inspire and drive me. So whenever I get a chance to share some of that, I’m doing it. That’s part of my contribution.

In that vein, I recently attended an Artist Talk at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore. While I was initially drawn to attending because of my excitement for seeing the work of Tim Okamura in person, the entire exhibit, featuring work from artists Amy Sherald, Ebony G. Patterson, and Rozeal, blew me away. I personally am obsessed and moved by portraiture that features Black women and men and their beauty and complexities, which is what attracted me to Okamura’s work. I only wished I knew it was available for me to see earlier, as I sadly learned that the exhibit ended the day of the event, January 28. Nevertheless, hopefully my pictures can capture some of their beauty – which amidst all the craziness that was occurring during that same 24 hour period, was the sunlight to my day.I think my love for graffiti art, in addition to the depth, detail, and texture in his work (that my pictures don’t capture well enough, are part of what make me love his work.

"Walkie Talkies" by Tim Okamura
“Walkie Talkies” by Tim Okamura

I think my love for graffiti art, in addition to the depth, detail, and texture in his work (that my pictures don’t capture well enough, are part of what make me love his work.

"Her Story 2.2" by Tim Okamura
“Her Story 2.2” by Tim Okamura
"The Prayer" by  Tim Okamura
“The Prayer” by Tim Okamura
"Hera" by Tim Okamura
“Hera” by Tim Okamura
"Ideal 2.0" by Tim Okamura. When I tell you I am in love and obsessed with this painting. I mean, c'mon - this bad ass 'fro with a rose in it on this gorgeous woman ?!?! I need this in my home.
“Ideal 2.0” by Tim Okamura.

When I tell you I am in love and obsessed with this painting “Ideal 2.0”. I mean, c’mon – this bad ass ‘fro with a rose in it on this gorgeous woman ?!?! I need this in my home.

"Listen, you a wonder, you a city of a woman,  you got a geography of your own, listen, somebody need a map to understand you.  Somebody need directions to move around you. listen, woman, you not a noplace anonymous girl; mister with his hands on you he got his hands on some damn body!
“Listen, you a wonder,
you a city of a woman,
you got a geography of your own,
listen, somebody need a map to understand you.
Somebody need directions to move around you.
listen, woman, you not a noplace anonymous girl;
mister with his hands on you he got his hands on some damn body!”                          by Amy Sherald

 

 

"Freeing Herself Was One Thing, Taking Ownership of That Freed Self Was Another."
“Freeing Herself Was One Thing, Taking Ownership of That Freed Self Was Another.” by Amy Sherald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can we just talk for a second about how dope Amy Sherald’s pictures AND work titles are. I was like, let me find out she’s in here dropping bars on the picture captions.

"The Bathers" by Amy Sherald
“The Bathers” by Amy Sherald
"The Boy With No Past" by Amy Sherald
“The Boy With No Past” by Amy Sherald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Untitled Species V (Bazile Paw) by Ebony G. Patterson
“Untitled Species V (Bazile Paw) by Ebony G. Patterson
Invisible Presence -Bling Memories" by Ebony G. Patterson
Invisible Presence -Bling Memories” by Ebony G. Patterson

 

"Russian from the Out and Bad Series" by Ebony G. Patterson
“Russian” from the “Out and Bad Series” by Ebony G. Patterson

This was so dope in person that I had to take close-ups of sections of it because this small photo does not nearly do enough justice to how impressive, decked-out, and intricate this appeared in person.

Up close of "Russian from the Out and Bad Series" by Ebony G. Patterson
Up close of “Russian” from the “Out and Bad Series” by Ebony G. Patterson
Up close of "Russian from the Out and Bad Series" by Ebony G. Patterson
Up close of “Russian” from the “Out and Bad Series” by Ebony G. Patterson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would say this work is a pretty dope way to kick off Black History Month.

 

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