The Archangel of the Forest holds seeds from some of the largest trees on the planet in his hands: Baobab, Sequoia and Redwood. Trees are selfless and see beyond time, bearing witness to our own human arrogance and entitlement. They, in turn, are here to heal the planet by absorbing carbon from the air, drinking poisons from water and emitting healthy molecules into the air for us to breathe. The Archangel of the Forest was created to watch over the land since humans have abdicated their role as guardian. The Archangel remains in constant prayer for the Earth's survival.
A Man for the People
William Byron Rumford was the first African American Assemblyman from Northern California elected to the state legislature in 1948. He authored the "Fair Housing Act", allowing minorities to rent and/or buy wherever they wanted. He wrote women's rights and environmental legislation. William Byron Rumford was truly " A Man for the People". It was an honor to recreate his likeness, meet his family and dedicate the first sculpture of an African American in Berkeley, California in 2016.
20 Years to Life
I volunteer with formerly incarcerated youth, the majority of whom are brown and black. While they are some of the funniest and most creative people I know, they are often bound up with a fear of success. Failure is so scary to them that they don't even try to build lives outside of the ones they were born into. That's what this piece represents to me: the cycle that begins with suspension in kindergarten and spirals into a youth sentenced as an adult, "graduating" prison with a degree in surviving it, then reoffending to ultimately become yet another profit center in a country with the highest rates of for-profit incarceration in the world.
This series of paintings honor the storytelling of our ancestors. Each figure (except "The Tree of LIfe") comes from actual African cave drawings. "Mother" represents the fact that we all are related to the same African woman, according to scientists. If you look closely the "Hunters" reflect the cycle of life. "The Tree of LIfe" is the ultimate feminine symbology: women birth, nurture and grow the family. "Beginning" represents the formation of society born of supernova stardust.
Tree of Life
I didn't want to put an intention on this piece by naming it because what you see depends on who you are and how you are feeling. Sometimes she is a chrysalis readying for transformation from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. Sometimes she is the woman who feels bound by obligations of being a daughter, a mother and a wife. Other times, she is in hiding from the brutality forced and enforced upon her for being female. She is many different things but never count her out. She is always evolving, always strong than she looks, always substantive, no matter the circumstance.
I love the effect of charcoal. The different values of black and grey with a hint of background. When I went back to school to get my Master's in Fine Art Painting, I wanted to know every detail about how the old masters painted. From composition and perspective to my old and new favorites chiaroscuro and grisaille with layers of glaze. But half way through school I discovered sculpture and that, as they say, was that. But I still LOVE the timelessness of charcoal.
Prometheus Bound after Rubens 18X24
Christ on the Cross after Rembrandt 18X24
ART SCHOOL IS ABOUT COPYING. WHEN YOU PUT YOUR WORK UP NEXT TO A GREAT MASTER, WHAT DO YOU SEE? WHEN I WENT BACK TO SCHOOL TO GET MY MASTERS IN FINE ART PAINTING, I WANTED TO LEARN HOW THE RENAISSANCE MASTERS PAINTED. IN TURN, IT WOULD LEAD ME TO FIND MY OWN STYLE. WELL, I FOUND SCULPTURE AND THAT WAS THAT! BUT I VALUE THE LESSONS TAUGHT IN CHIAROSCURO, GRISAILLE AND PERSPECTIVE. AS AN ARTIST, I WILL ALWAYS WORK ON SEEING.
Untitled Commission 24X18
Heindricke in the River after Rembrandt 18X24
Guided by Justice
This site specific sculpture was commissioned by the Equal Justice Initiative's "Memorial to Peace and Justice". The memorial's dedication is April 26, 2018 in Montgomery, Alabama. It memorializes the 4400 know victims of lynching in the United States. The three sculptors invited to permanently exhibit at the memorial were asked to provide a testament to African American resilience during three periods of time in our history: slavery, the fight for civil rights and mass incarceration. "Guided by Justice" is a civil rights monument to the women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They walked everywhere, everyday: to the doctor's office, grocery store, church, work, hairdresser, school, to pay bills, etc. My women represent the range of life: a young mother to be, a middle aged school principal and a grandmother. These three represent the parade of women who were constantly harassed, spit at, cussed out and threatened with disfigurement and even death, yet the walked every day. They honored the call and persevered by walking, rain or shine, in blazing heat or bone chilling cold weather. This sculpture represents the quiet constancy of women determined to make a difference in ways available to them at the time, doing what needed to be done, one step at a time.
Grandmother James: In progress
Young pregnant mother: in progress
Principal Clark: In progress
Eve is blamed for all the world's ills. She bears the burden of the Bible's "original sin". Women from the beginning of time have paid the ultimate price at the hands of the gatekeepers of that patriarchal story. Its constant retelling has been the highest propaganda, a convenient excuse to diminish and destroy the value of women. But this story of Eve resonates on a different vibratory level for me. This Eve may be yet another victim of socially accepted mass gendercide, and like her sisters, she will endure the shame and ultimate death with dignity and honor. Her head is held high, her back straight, her eyes open behind the blindfold and with the resolve of the queen that she is, she will not dignify civilization's fear of the universal feminine with any acknowledgement.
"Il Davide" is modeled after Bernini's David. Bernini is one of my favorites. His sculptures sing their passion, so wonderful and alive. I loved the twist and torque of Bernini's David and wanted to create my version in a classical nude sculpture, true to that time in art history.
"Phoenix" was the first sculpture I created that helped me realize that sculpting was my calling more so than any other art form. She was nearly finished when she collapsed overnight. The funny thing about that was that I never got upset. I just set to fixing her: no tears, no second guessing, no drama. I think she is beautiful and much better than the original. This happy accident introduced me to the patience and love of an art form that was buried in my soul, just waiting to be discovered.