Artist Statement: In Transition
As someone who has studied and practiced as an architectural intern and as an artist, I have spent years keeping the two professions separate. Partly because It was difficult for me to navigate telling a narrative through one profession impacted by the other. In this current contemporary body of work, I invite you into my creative world, a space in which art and architecture merge to communicate a greater narrative. As an architect, I recognized the ways in which urban development frequently poses a threat to underserved and exploited communities. As an artist, I have worked to develop a visual dialogue to address this threat.
My artistic practice is a gateway to study gentrification in communities and urban spaces, and the resulting effects on various demographics, but specifically on Black and Brown Americans. Frequently featuring figures in colorful cityscapes, I use the human form to represent and center the people – both individually and collectively – affected by socio-economic barriers, corporate greed, housing inequity, and systemic racism. Inspired by the typical form of human figures in architectural renderings, my figures mirror the structural abstraction of the objects in his urban scenes: high-rise buildings, industrial cranes, and houses dwarfed by the shadow of development. In this way, the figures become an extension of the scene, caught in transition along with everything else. The urbanscape, while perceived as colorful, is coded. Using the primary colors of red, yellow and blue as indicator markings found in 1950 and 60’s redlining maps distinguishing desired areas from areas in decline due to lack of resources.
It is my intention that the urbanscape paintings spark a conversation around affordable and accessible housing – an issue that has historically disproportionately affected BIPOC communities. Offering an honest and unyielding look into the very real issues facing communities nationwide.