Identity Theft Exhibit
This body of work is my creative voice. I have titled it, “Identity Theft.”
I began working on the majority of these pieces during the beginning of 2016 and some date earlier than that. I initially created this work as a protest toward the televised brutality and killings of Black people and people of color. These killings were not only happening here in America but throughout the world.
As I look back at my own history, as well as researching world history, I reflect on what I have been taught about myself and other darker-skinned people of the world. The work in this exhibit is my artistic representation of what happens when people or nations of people are stripped of their indigenous identity and re-taught a history that historically filters the truth and presents an incorrect version of past and present injustices. This filtered history, as I call it, is being used against us as a weapon of self-destruction.
I firmly believe this inability to see value or substance in one’s skin color is a reflection on how people of color are seen today. I have changed my creative direction and my work no longer focuses on the hatred and ignorance of killing the darker-skinned people. I now focus on the cause and effect of this senseless taking of another’s life. Our existence on this planet depends on our perceptions of one another. An incorrect version of history should be viewed as a crime against humanity. The art in this exhibit is my truth and that truth must begin to be re-taught.
As a Black man, I believe history is failing not only the Black race but also the human race. Black history is mainly being taught from the Black American slave narrative, which is only 5 percent of the 200,000 years of documented African history. Civilization began on the continent of Africa, but our history in America speaks little or nothing of this. Human existence means nothing if we don’t know who we are, or where we come from. Not knowing one’s history or the incorrect history of other races is, in my opinion, a form of genocide. This type of ignorance has been targeted against people of color far too long, and in many cases, has led to the annihilation of countless generations.
The Identity Theft exhibit is designed as a learning tool to confront negative stereotypes and challenge the misconceptions that many Americans have and that plague Black people and people of color. I have included in each work of art aspects of history, race, technology, and lastly, religion and hope. I strongly believe these categories need to be re-examined and corrected; the truth must be told.
Not understanding one’s place in life can easily corrupt a mind. This leads to self-hatred, which, in my opinion, has greater power than any manmade weapon of mass destruction. My way of making a change comes through my ART. This is a non-violent approach created to bring awareness, enhance our civilization, and help us get our identity back.