*OPENING 2/24/22 AT 6PM AT THE ANDAZ HOTEL, WEST HOLLYWOOD, 8401 SUNSET BLVD
What was the first story that captivated you? What movie did you rent again and again until you knew all the words? Who did you look up to and aspire to be one day, simply because you connected with the character? Everyone has found a character who they believe has helped them understand life, find meaning, or just laugh like nothing before. This is the magic of film and TV.
This magic is even more special when you find someone who looks like you. You feel represented, seen, and like the possibilities are endless for someone like yourself. For minorities, the first time we truly see ourselves represented can be life changing. I can remember the first time I saw Robert Townsend in Meteor Man. I rented that film every weekend for three years I was so excited. I wasn’t old enough to understand why I liked it so much, but the representation and the relatable story mattered a great deal.
As the years went on, black characters became so many of the voices I would listen to, find inspiration in, and deeply connect with. “Stories,” purposefully opening during Black History Month, attempts to tell the stories those characters told but through paintings. The original works incorporate my Neon Black style, blending the background and foreground of the subject to tell a deeper story through images and symbols while always leaving the hair unobstructed because black hair always deserves celebrating. By recreating images of these characters in this style, “Stories” tells us more than just the story of the protagonists, but stories of black culture that are appreciated no matter what one’s identity may be.