I don’t know about you, but every piece of art I create is a piece of me somehow. My artwork is a snap of who I am at that precise moment of creation.
For my birthday a few months ago, a dear friend gifted me with one of those DNA kits. She knew it was essential for me to learn about my ancestry. This had been an obsession of mine for a while and I needed answers. As a woman, I only get one half really analyzed, but it’s still a lot of information. I discovered I am mostly made of 73.9% European (mostly western Europe) and about 24% from the West coast of Africa. And it means I am actually more White than Black, even though you first see the color of my skin when you look at me (don’t you?).
It took me a long time to be comfortable with my flesh. I grew up in an all-White family, without any siblings. And I did not want to bring the subject with my Mom because 1) not her fault 2) I didn’t want to sound like I was not grateful.
Faces are fascinating. And I love playing with different ways to convey racial differences with paint. You can see that in the following Nixies. It might not be obvious at first sight, but they are all of color to a certain degree.
I have two daughters, each has a skin tone of her own. My older is pale with a lot of freckles and hazel/green eyes; her sister is like warm caramel. But they both have african DNA running in their veins, you just don’t see it. These paintings are for them, too…