Many of the themes I deal with in my work stem from my personal history and my love for literature. For me, reading is the best way to enhance imagination, and the relationship between reality and imagination is crucial to my current practice. I create images that display the black body within invented landscapes as a means to challenge both historical and contemporary associations with the black character, in particular the African-American male.
My desire to deconstruct history, literature, and stereotypical ideas surrounding black masculinity stems from my experiences growing up in the northern part of St. Louis, Missouri—an area marked by racial tensions, poverty, and gang violence. The resulting works are amalgamations referencing everything from literature and American history to my personal past and present imaginations, and they address our perceptions and the social stigmas that surround the black character. As a man of color, I create my paintings and drawings to renegotiate my relationship with my heritage, family, masculinity, and culture.