...the idea of taking charge of what you feed your mind, how and where you spend your energy, what and who you allow into your space—all of these factors play a role in how a person grows.
Inner Bloom features the newest portrait works by artist Idris Habib, who, inspired by the colors and textures found in flowers, created portraits with the human figure as the object in bloom.
The topics of personal development and self improvement are dominating social discourse these days—the idea of taking charge of what you feed your mind, how and where you spend your energy, what and who you allow into your space—all of these factors play a role in how a person grows. What is most notable about Habib’s works, and what aides in communicating this idea of blooming, is the stark contrast in color. His figures’ faces are colored with a black paint devoid of dimension, granting them a power within the canvas that communicates that they are not products of time, but rather observers of it. It’s as if their internal decision to not let life just carry them along has been externalized. They exist presently, and with agency.
The vibrant patterns found in the background, as well as in the subjects’ clothes, surround them in the same way that petals crown a flower. Petals or even the fruit of a plant are often the final products in the process of growth. They serve as markers of triumph, celebrations of evolution. The patterned color of Habib’s work in high contrast with the figures serves the same purpose. Existing as the results of resilience, tenacity, and determination, qualities paramount in the question of self development, his figures are held within the fruits of their labor.
This practice of self cultivation is a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s vital, especially for groups of people who have been historically and systematically oppressed. One can view the works as standing models of self actualization for the Black person. Each figure calls out to the viewer, urging them to keep going, despite the weight of things against them.
As seasons change here in the West, Inner Bloom materializes as a natural reminder to tend to the garden that is our individual lives and invest in our unfolding.