When I started painting three years ago, I found myself inextricably drawn to renaissance and baroque art.
I fell in love with the theatrical compositions and narratives, as well as the adroit handling of oil paint in every piece. However, the paintings of these time periods that I love so much shared a common issue withmuch of the media we consume today: a lack of uplifting representation of people of color. Of course, being Eurocentric art movements, the lack of black and brown figures makes intellectual sense, but results in an emotional disconnect for people of color who have always been absent from the art historical narrative.
My goal when I paint is to utilize the techniques and style of baroque and renaissance paintings that I so admire, while depicting people from varied ethnic backgrounds. Since I am multiethnic myself, I have been combining cultures and ideas since birth. Thus, it feels only natural to combine inspiration from varied sources in my work.
My intent is to make art that is pleasing and that exudes the romantic aura of the paintings that have influenced me, never art that is shocking or disquieting. I know that for some, though, the inclusion of brown figures is a political statement in and of itself. I hope that as I continue to evolve as an artist and as the world (hopefully) becomes more socially progressive, I will create works that will be considered beautiful like those paintings from hundreds of years ago, and that the complexion of the subjects will not figure prominently in any particular piece as a whole. Or, better yet, won’t matter at all.