Your latest body of works centered around the Black construct were in part inspired by questions your daughter Indigo has asked you about race. Do you think about making your art as an opportunity to teach her?
I don’t know if the work I do will necessarily teach my children, but I create it as a way of documenting a conversation. It’s also not one-sided, as there are moments my daughter Indigo has taught me something through her questioning. She sees the simplicity in our complexity as adults. I think all children do. I don’t know, maybe we adults are desensitized and lost our way of seeing what’s in front of us. I remember a time I had mentioned to Indigo that she and I were Black and in a funny way I was rebuked by her. A four-year-old at the time stated that we were brown, not Black. How could I argue? Technically, she was right. Moments like that inspire me to make work. It is my hope that while I have breath in my lungs and as they grow up that I’ll continue to help them navigate life this construct of ours and its belligerent structures. I hope the work I create will make sense to them as they get older.
Who do you see as your contemporaries? Whose art is yours in conversation with, or if there aren’t any other artists whose work you see your own in, are there structures, places, or other notable influences on you?
Man. That’s a tough one. There are so many amazing artists, especially locally, whose work I connect with both technically and conceptually. I don’t know if I am at their level but I hope one day to be. These individuals are friends of mine and they inspire me. Katherine Mann and her deep love for painting. Tommy Dahlberg and his ability to weave these complex ideas so simply. Maddie Cutrona and her child-like but fearless exploration of materials. Dominic Terlizzi, in short, is a genius. Speaking of genius: Phaan Howng, Christine Stiver, Taha Heydari, Elliot Doughtie, KT Duffy, Ali Seradge, Carla Brown, Stephen Towns, Valencia James, Mary Baum, Justin Plakas, Rachel Debuque, Stephanie Williams, Cindy Cheng, Chelsea Ragan, Richard Hart, Mandy Cano Villalobos, Alex Ebstein, and Lawrence Lee, to name a few. These individuals inspire me in so many different ways when it comes to my practice. I hope they know it.
Do you believe in astrology and if so what insights can your signs give our readers into your personality and mindset?
Oh shoot! It’s crazy how astrology can be accurate at times. As for my personality, well, I’ve been told that I am a Taurus Sun, Capricorn Moon, and Virgo Rising. All I know is my Taurus brothers and sisters get a bad rap… we aren’t stubborn, we are passionate. Haha.