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For Colored Girls

For Colored Girls challenges constructed perceptions of race, color, and subject. As a Black woman, I feel responsible for ensuring that my work shifts the narrative away from the mythology of a predominately white art historical canon and instead celebrates the existence of Black bodies and Black stories. This is the work that I have always felt motivated to create. I consider my work a love letter to Black womanhood.
I have been exploring colors and their relationship to the Black body. What does it mean to be a “colored” woman? And how do we see colors on the skin? How is race defined and embodied within systems of power?

The portraits show introspective women in their teens to their mid-70s. Each woman's face is presented in oil- and acrylic-painted color blocks with various hues of red, blue, yellow, orange, violet, green, and teal. Each color represents the strength and struggle that Black women endure. Layered brush strokes create texture and collage elements convey fragmented histories and personal stories. Although the palette is the same throughout the series, the colors on each subject were selected to represent individual personal stories.

The relationship between African Americans and the construct of race is a complex one. In this series, I explore what it means to be a Black woman through color, shape, texture, and form, and reimagine the power structures that define dominant cultural perceptions of people of color in the Americas.

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