Artist StatementNinety-nine years ago, the boxer Jack Johnson beat Tommy Burns in a title match, making Johnson the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world. This series of work uses Jack Johnson as a historical, metaphoric, and visual starting point. It sparks a confrontation between the past and present implications of having a black man as the most powerful figure in sports or as Eldridge Clever put it, “the ultimate focus of masculinity in America”. Questions of race, history, and guilt are forced upon the artist and, consequently, the viewer. In addition to addressing power in terms of race, the image of the muscular male figure explores masculinity and its relationship to physical strength and (racial) power. Though the works share similar impeti, they develop through the act of painting into autonomous pieces, carrying original concepts in different ways and to different degrees. Some works directly reference their subject matter, some carry it as a vital but veiled undertone. In all cases, the work insists first and foremost on emotionally seizing the viewer - it seeks a gut reaction that will prompt one to pursue further understanding.
EDUCATION M.F.A. - School of Visual Arts - New York, NY B.F.A. - Washington University in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO