Our world LEaders ( november 8th 2019)
In 2019 old, white men are still making cultural choices for our country. The series of paintings on found images, OUR WORLD LEADERS, points to the outdated, ineffective, and often damaging perspectives that these men bring to their roles and rhetoric. This work recasts images of powerful white figures into roles that are entirely inappropriate for them and simultaneously roles that people like them often continue to occupy. The addition of a Du Rag points to the ways in which these men co-opt our culture in an attempt to show that they understand and that they are “cool” enough for us to trust them to have our interests at heart. It also points to ways in which elements of black culture are censured until white mainstream America claims these cultural elements as their own and severs them from their roots. This kind of cultural appropriation is evident in music, fashion, art, and food. OUR WORLD LEADERS attempts to turn that conversation on its head, and illuminate the continued acts of othering and appropriation that are normalized even today.
This series was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q piece of the Mona Lisa. All pieces are reworked in oil.