2019 Create Change Fellow
Drawing, Photography, Digital Design
What artist, curator, activist or project has influenced or inspired you?
Consistently reading James Baldwin and Albert Murray centers, to and for me, what it means to suffer and what it means to refine that into good work. I don’t get lost in forms of pity, guilt, or shame like I used to, and I understand my duty, as an artist, to be nothing but honest and precise.
Because I can do art, It is my responsibility to do it with integrity, and that’s it.
This thrift store by the train station has allowed me cheap gender-affirming clothing many times over, which is a nice stepping stone, I think, to just find confidence from elsewhere as I continue building my own, from my ideas and my past, so I’m very thankful for the powerful relief.
Arthur Blythe’s “Lenox Avenue Breakdown” album + a lot of what Duke Ellington was able to do was inspired by Harlem as well, and that universalized improvisation guides me heavily.