Inspiration is powerful; other artists inspire the artist in me. I find myself mostly drawn to musicians like Sun Ra, Jimi Hendrix and jazz legends such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane and Nina Simone. Music in general has been a big part of my life and work. In my work, you see my use of music sheets and the mixing of hearts and brains with musical instruments. I do believe that art is founded on the idea that sharing the creativity of others often sparks the greatest forms of creativity within you. It encourages me to look around my environment and my community. It ignites vision to create, in hopes that it will inspire another.
My work addresses the role we play in this world as humans and our identity, whether black, white, and yellow, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or whatever one chooses to believe in. I believe one does not have to be colored to play a colorful role in this world. Your actions and what you do, whether good or bad, will be the imprint you leave for others to see and or to follow. It is important to keep in mind you are human before anything else.
Oftentimes, I feel like art in all forms will conquer human segregation in this world. That thought alone makes me want to continue to create, paint and doing things more artistically. I prefer to translate or transform my moods with images and colors. The colors I use provide clues and interpretation to how I view the world. I use the colors white and blue frequently to establish surreal notions of purity and safety, while using black brings out everything into light. As I paint, I work out ideas to their extremes without attempting to control the destiny of each painting. I control the process to a certain point, but then the painting itself takes over. When I recognize that every element of the painting connects, I stop the process.
My painting is not about any theory or –ism. There is no content other than the image and what it shows. There is no need for political messages. The lines themselves are the visual evidence of the energy and of the process we are going through as people of color. My work consists of conceptually based sociopolitical and cultural objects. These past few years have been the most experimental years of my life. I find people fascinating; especially those who’ve change themselves physically by design or accident. I refer to these people as being in an “altered state” and as an African; it has been something that has bothered me. I believe diversity is what makes this world beautiful and we contribute to that beauty. Black is beautiful, period. No one can dare to deny or change that fact but us. We are beautiful in every shape and form or shade. We have the most captivating features that many people pay thousands of dollars to acquire. As an artist, I feel as though it is my obligation to show that in my work. It has been a great pleasure to paint with all black color paint and now it is becoming my thing. Making the tones and details fascinates me. At first, I was fearful to try it, but now I look forward to it. This is reflected in my recent body of work, including “Black Diamond”, “Spring Is Here”, and the “We Are Family” collections, along with many others to come.
I don’t know if I can call myself a hard-edged painter, but I do prefer to work with unusual and unconventional materials than the normal canvas. After coming across some fabrics in a street market in Amsterdam, I spent a lot of time hunting for new fabrics, papers, and props to work on. I found the fabrics to be more of a muse than the subjects I was painting. I'm still not sure how all this art came about in my life. I’m still not certain of why or what made me turn my moods into art, but I do believe art has changed and saved my life in so many ways. Art brings me joy and relaxes me. It eases my mind and therefore is my therapy. The feelings I get when I start a new piece or finish an old one is beyond words. And for that reason alone, I will never stop making art.