I produce photos, paintings, writings and performances, but my central media are spells and questions. In my work I respond always to the curious, awestruck child inside me. Much of what I ask about has to do with how I live and am perceived, or how people like me (young, black, curious, dreamers) live and are perceived. I get this information through rumors, overheard conversations, media of all sorts, and from what I can discern in people’s eyes when they look at me or others.
My work is always in conversation with the histories of the places I’ve lived: New York, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Chicago. America. This planet. My influences and ancestors are many, and I’m always finding work and situations to get excited about. Often I think of conversations that come from close reading and study, the wonder you feel when you think of long history, how our time will be some future age’s ancient epoch, and of the way our moments echo moments people in civilizations in other spaces and times have had—or, to put it differently, the way a single universal moment is felt reverberating in our time and space. I’m convinced that young black creatives across the world are in a Renaissance, are asking more questions about our bodies (physical, social, political, spiritual) and what they mean, and I know that these questions are my own, too.
Finally, I try always to keep in mind the famous Robert Frank quote: “When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” I might add to that: when people read something I write or look at something I made, I want them to feel the way they do when they want to linger a little longer in a question.