Evidence is an ongoing series of mixed media paintings and performances. The piece explores my long-time interest in the relationship between the moving body and the medium of painting. I am particularly interested in how the liveness of the moving body can be captured in a painting.
I create these works by rolling my face across paper, paying special attention to my own breath and the contact between my skin and the smooth surface of the paper. The weight of my head guides the brown oily strokes and smudges made by a combination of mineral oil and makeup. Later, I use graphite, chalk, and erasers to give shape to the images that appear to me. The end result is a textured landscape made from a mixture of bodily matter and drawn details.
When I first started taking classes in dance studios, I began paying attention to the places I left smudges of oil on the marley floors and acutely became aware of the shame attached to these observations, particularly in predominantly white environments where the smudges quietly called attention to and archived my (black) presence in the space. I have come to think of these smudges of oil, sometimes mixed with dark brown foundation,
left on my computer keyboard,
across book pages,
on the nose of my partner (who is much lighter than me),
Evidence of my black body. Evidence of my presence. Evidence that I am well moisturized.
It is through these paintings that I consider the at times unspoken truths bodies reveal in space and the stories they tell about shame, alienation and the lingering nature of our existence.