I use mixed media and collage , and like soul food, jazz and hip hop, I create a patch work from disparate sources and materials. The presence of harmony using disparate sources create a statement of hope to unify the many cultures within society that has come a long way, but remains divided. Among many others a great influence on me has been Romare Bearden and his amazing use of collage. My inspiration and visual sources come from my surroundings, particularly in West Oakland.I have never felt more at home than in a racially mixed mostly African American community. It is the color richness, history the hardship and the humanity combined that inspires me.
I am also inspired by the aspect and behaviors of people. What stories do our faces tell? What does it keep hidden below the surface? I am interested in the dichotomy of struggle and joy.
The impact of tragedies fallen upon the young men of the African American community such as Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant are my stressors and my inspiration to look more deeply into the faces that pull me in. In the mystery behind the faces there is an unexplained struggle, particularly in that of the local community here in West Oakland where I live. I invite the onlookers to probe more deeply into the unexplained, what is wrongfully assumed in the countenance of seeming indifference or tension in the face of one of my subjects.
After all the struggles our community faces open the eyes and ears of the viewer, compelling us to reach out to each other and know more about our brothers and sisters. Still complacency always find us, and we recoil, forgetting for the moment the peace and satisfaction of finding an inherent connection in the pain caused by these struggles. The ultimate open questions about our humanity live in the figures and faces of my work.