I arranged this painting using compositional devices borrowed from Edouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass. I have always enjoyed the spectacular nature of Manet’s painting and we share many similarities as artists. We both have been influenced by the history of painting, the flatness of Japanese prints, and the idea that imagery can be multifaceted in its relationship to the viewer. Our work also exists outside the boundaries of the established and accepted conventions in our particular artistic lanes.
The artistic lane for Forget Me Nots land, my created world and multiverse, is a lane of progressive ideas from black artists in the contemporary art world – a lane that’s too fast for the antiquated artistic relics that defined Civil Rights era artistic contributions. I am a man…..and I have ideas that transcend far past the mere inclusion of my skin color in a gallery setting.
Luncheon in the Grass is a mashup of the idea of Tupac Shakur’s Thugz Mansion- “A place to spend my quiet nights” - and the reclaimed components Cubist compositions borrowed from African Culture. I venture into the history of Modernism and imagine a place where nude black characters can lounge as carefree in public as Manet’s white counterparts. They rest atop a blanket made of faded stars and stripes. I’m contemplating American values and what it would take to create a world that truly exemplified an environment that is truly for all the people.
The sounds of Kendrick Lamar’s “United in Grief” beckons me to find a peace of mind in this lifetime. The characters wading through the water are on their personal journey to find peace and escape a disturbance happening in their homeland. As they cross the shark infested waters they fuse into compositions that reconnect them with their ancestry making them suitable beings for Forget Me Nots Land. I see their escape as the catalyst for The Space Cowboys finding my created paradise.