My body of work uses multiple digital programs as a medium to explore themes of fantasy, surrealism, and representation. By using cutting edge softwares, I am able to sculpt portrait busts of women with natural hair, can create interactive spaces you can walk through made with code, and can even bring these pieces into the real world by using Augmented Reality(AR). The Black Experience is one of isolation, inequality, and neglect, but it shouldn’t be solely defined by those aspects. Using AR allows what is unseen to be revealed, and with that comes the integration of warmth, whimsy, and empathy.
I mainly use programs like Procreate to make digital paintings, Zbrush and Maya to sculpt without ever touching clay, and Unity to add in interactivity using code. Traditional artists like Frida Kahlo inspire me to put symbolism and surrealism into my work. While artists like Audra Kawaski inspire me to play with transparency and to use natural materials like wood as a main part of my work. I’m also inspired by Takashi Murakami, who uses AR as a main feature in their work, to break up the restrictive, sterile culture in museum settings. For example, my piece “Black Boys are Surreal” features a digital painting of a black boy in a slightly surrealist style, but when viewed through the AR app, “Zappar”, features in the background of the painting move and rotate to give it more life.
In the future I’d like to focus on using Augmented Reality to create public art pieces that anybody can enjoy. It is important to have people discover beauty in unusual spaces outside of the traditional gallery setting. Encouraging exploration and curiosity while cultivating empathy and community is something I’d like to accomplish with my future works. Traditional art spaces can be very exclusionary, so bringing beauty to places that notoriously get neglected is something I would love to do.