Artwork & words (c) to the individual artists. Photos link to artist websites (where available).
Images create our reality and are embedded into our subconscious. I'm a street artist who loves Art and all its forms. My invokations come from Graffiti Art, Street Art, Kemetic Art, Rastafari Art, Yoruba Arts, Cultural Arts, Conscious Art, Black and Latino Art.
Topics touched on in my work range from politics, racial identity/cultural awareness, to exploring the inner workings of the soul and spirit. I find inspiration from African art, graffiti-street art and other contemporary artists I encounter. I feel that a lot of my art has not been learned but is coming thru various spiritual channels and a mix of this life and past life experiences. The common message flowing through out my work is for people to wake up to a higher form of consciousness.
Art is an absolute liberation of my imagination, a tool I use to communicate and share my "inner-light." Living with this artistic expression is ritualistic in act and meditative in thought. Many times in the midst of creating, I experience dejavu. The realization of a single moment is obsolete only until it is captured by a memory of a stroke; a thought or pause for observation that I have discovered represents reincarnation of that tangible moment.
Rosie the Riveter is traditionally viewed as a white woman. Ogun is traditionally an African male figure, but Ogun converted into female presentation and Black with Rosie the Riveter in America. Black Rose has the attributes of Ogun, as blacksmith. Like Ogun in Africa, Ogun in America in the hands of black women makes tools from iron and metal. She prepares the pathway for civilization as these women did by jack hammering, soldering, nailing, ships, tanks, jeeps and various other metals for WWII. However, this bind of freeing America while still in economic-social political oppression becomes doubling of transformative thought for women of African descent. In my artwork I try to address these doppelgangers of African and American, discovering linage in public art that has been hidden in dresser drawers relegated as the space a woman is to occupy.
Karen Carraway Seneferu
The central female figure in Motherland represents Mother Africa and the embryo represents her children, the Africans, who were ripped from her womb and transported to America. The central figure in Remember is an inner city youth who is a descendant of those Africans, who has chosen to transform his vision by reflecting on past deep rooted cultural traditions to escape society’s stereotypical traps.
'Dance of the Infinite'
I am a Light Warrior igniting shining bright in love, joy and gratitude. Inner warrior awakened, a hummingbird flutters in the golden light of my heart On wings of vision, I express a wordless prayer of compassion Bringing light to the truth of this joyful journey. With inner grace and strength ever present, I move and dance in ecstasy to life.
The glass head represents a somewhat en-light-ened person. The ceramic artwork represents a hard head person. The transition of the glaze with the lighter color at the neck is a metaphor for the message has permeated the heart and is beginning to rise to the neck and subsequently to the head. These two approximate the intense nose-to-nose intense global conversion. The resolution is to allow light to shine through you and remain as clear as possible, while being of strong substance.
I designed the Earthquake Shield to commemorate the 'big one' in 1989 in the Bay Area. I felt that the earth was speaking to us to remind us to take care of her. I used found items we might find in urban street after an earthquake to suggest chaos and movement. The design shows cracks encrusted with familiar items. The technique and use of materials is reminiscent of antique 'memory' sculptures - layers of little things encrusted onto ceramic pieces, although the format for the Earthquake Shield is contemporary.
The changing of the seasons is nature's cycle of transformation. The harvest of fall, the leaves on trees turning brilliant reds, oranges and yellows is indeed a wondrous event. It fills me with awe and gratitude, excites all of my senses! I look forward to "leaf peeping", traveling to certain locations that are especially colorful and capturing the majestic colors of fall with my camera each fall season.
Raised in the cultural crossroad of working-class Miami, my paintings reveal multi-layered themes of Cuban and pan-Caribbean cultural identities and shared realities in the United States. The work often includes symbolic images of liberation, and illumination inspired by the indigenous and African-based spiritual traditions, and references to the hybridity of "creole" cultures.
Feet don't fly (2008). We often make the mistake of focusing more on our perceived short-comings than the magnificence of our greater potential. A bird with a broken leg can still soar freely through the sky.
Pablo Soto Campoamor
Keba Armand Konte
Keba Konte's canvas Ken Saro-Wiwa (2008) is from the series Defending the Defenders and was inspired by Amnesty International and Sierra Club's recent collaboration linking human rights to environmental rights. Here Keba pays homage to a hero of the movement - one who defended the environment and indigenous people with his life. The salvaged materials Konte has used are apt canvases to convey his story.
Ken Saro-Wiwa. Nigerian environmental activist. Executed for protesting the environmental rape of his country caused by the negligence of large oil companies.
The Shaman's Heart (2008). Presently the greater portion of my paintings are abstract, in that the elements I use goes far beyond figurative and lands somewhere in the realms of symbolism and expressionism. I feel I am truly able to express myself in depths and heights from an abstract viewpoint rather than from the figurative... Just about half of the time that each piece requires is spent listening to the work with my eyes. During which time the name or title of the piece is revealed. This is a very crucial stage of the work in that the name is the key that gives the viewer a direct or subtle insight into the subject matter. It is important to me that every work manifest with a name because they are like children to me and what is a child without a name? Therefore, at the earliest stages of the dialogue my senses are tuned-in for the name as that becomes the essence out of which the piece develops.
People of the Sun (2005). In her art, Sandrine Malary enjoys playing with textures and patterns. She often transports herself back to her motherland, Ayiti (Haiti), when she creates, thus making her pieces reflect not only the colors of the islands, but the spirit of Vodou. Sandrine's prayer with these pieces is that change will come to her people, that one day, Ayiti (Haiti) will transform to reclaim its place as "La Perle des Antilles," (The Pearl of the Antilles). She hopes that sharing her culture will open eyes and hearts to the plight of her nation.
Portraits of Oakland Puddles reflecting what my heart only knows as the truth whispers in my ears drowning out all hope. Oak, and I can smell it and I can feel it, but I’m far away from land. The water is my home. Reality stinging, my cousin lying dead on the ground. My ground, My Oakland Myself transformed into what can only be seen in a reflection after a rain soaked day. After a chase After a bullet piercing flesh After a mother has cried. This is the scene that can only be seen. Unless... Unless, I turn my eyes and see that the leaves are still yellow-brown-red Then a puddle can feel more like home then wood or bricks. That a ripple can feel as steady as a thick branch And my reality is what I choose it to be. And that Oakland is me.
"Roots" by TaSin Sabir
In Search of Better Horizons (1999). My work, paintings, sculpture or poems, speak of human universality. It is the flow of humanity with its universal inspirations, faith, pain and joy. It is moving, lyrical, melodious, and harmonious. There is one original design, one blueprint. By acknowledging outer differences amongst people, the deeper realization is that we are the same in essence, that we are all seeking harmony.
Before the Bang (2003). As with dance, song, or athleticism, painting from the ‘deep within' uncovers a 'comfort zone', a wellspring that we can all draw from, and using a few simple tools to express what essentially cannot be told but only experienced, what I call art is my small attempt to show how I perceive these inexpressible things as they manifest themselves to me. This need to communicate, to express what surges through the heart, to embrace the environment, to interact with the inhabitants of that environment, those things that show how words that define quite simply fail to encompass the essence of the incredible, the commonplace, the rare and the common, all the opposites and all the shades in between.
James A. Noel
Humanity (2010). My paintings contemplate, celebrate, and represent the African Diaspora’s social/religious/cultural experiences in North America, The Caribbean, and South America. These paintings attempt to express the profound sense of hope, determination and joy that Blacks extracted from life during their tragic encounter with modernity. I want to capture the beauty and dignity of black folk as a reality as well as an ideal. No single style or medium can suffice for this aim. I, therefore, am deliberately eclectic in my approach to painting and employ whatever medium and style suits my purpose for the particular work at hand. My figurative works depict the black body both as the site upon which racial oppression has been inflicted through violence, intimidation, and negation and also as the signification of beauty in black consciousness--the material, fleshly, yet fragile containers of spirit and hope.
Jesus at the Border (2008). Transformative vision can occur at any time, any place. It can be anything that triggers that moment of realization that we don’t have all of the pieces to this puzzle. It is that moment of wonder, mystery and awe. My joy is in capturing those simple moments when color, light, form and substance come together in such harmony that I feel overwhelmed by the beauty and magnitude of it. This is when I have to paint what I have seen. This is my transformative vision.
After teaching English as a second language for several years, I met this young man and was inspired to paint his beautiful thick braid of hair. He took off his shirt and revealed a tattoo of Jesus covering his back. As I painted, he told me his story of migrating north alone and his dangerous and illegal crossing at the border. Somehow all of it became this painting: Jesus at the Border.
Boxed Up Magic (2010). In my own life, creative tools and the resulting expressions provide method and practice for living artfully, heralding a triumph of beauty amidst any adversity or obstacles presenting challenge. Even in confrontations where immediate resolve is not to be found, sufferings endured reveal deeper lessons to be explored, despite how prevalent the darkness. In fact, sometimes it is exactly the substance of darkness which ultimately grants permission - even appointment - to vision in a "brighter light," as summoned by dictates prescribed.
Mensajes de Paz (2010). Dia de Los Muertos, celebrated on Nov 1st and 2nd is a celebration of the dead. This is a time when the curtain between the present day and our ancestral past is pulled back. A bridge gets created that connects us to those who have left the physical world. These nights are gateways that allow us to speak to our lost loved ones. To send them a message, laugh with our memories of them and their spirit, to take part in a celebration of who they were and still are to us.
As a visual artist I am motivated by nature’s glory, indigenous spirituality, and the vision of a global elevation movement. Fusing the ancient and the futuristic, the traditional and the innovative, are ongoing themes that I love exploring with collage in all of my collections. These pieces are from my current Hope Road collection. Each piece explores and champions visions of the oppressed, exploited, and disregarded in positions of power, in their natural beauty and divine glory. Transforming from the powerless to the powerful, from the down trodden to the glorious.
When I studied medicine, I learned about the body: its anatomy, physiology, pathology. When I began to practice, I educated myself about the mind and its influence on the body, learning meditation, hypnosis and guided imagery. Over the years, I have seen how profoundly the political and spiritual realms influence health and illness. Not one of us can heal the ills of our body until we have healed our world, and we cannot heal our world without healing our hearts.
This is a job too big for medicine, and so I have turned to art.
The Muse (2009)
Praisesong (2007) is composed of fused clear and colored glass. The kiln process allows the colored glass powder (frit) to melt and mold into a generally suggested shape. As such, the co-creative product is a result of intuitively placed glass crystals and the energetic influence of what Divine Intention infuses upon my inner vision. The result, in this case, is a beautiful manifestation of artistic honoring of the Divine movement and the expression of sheer joy in the face of irrefutable uncertainty. This piece honors the triumphant praise that transcends all circumstances.
All artwork and words copyright to the individual artist. Photos link to artist websites where available.
Please click for Transformative Visions 2011 WORD and MUSIC.
The photographs of the artists and their work on this webpage were taken by Oladunni Vandervall and Valerie Brown. Thank you!