Tag Archives: African Diaspora Art

Two New Small Drawings by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER

28 Aug

Just off the easel – two new small drawings by DC based artist MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER.

 

 

Michael Andrew Booker

Pocket Rockets (PPE 1), 2020
Fine liner pen and watercolor on paper
14 x 11 in

 

 

Michael Andrew Booker

Untitled (PPE 2), 2020
Fineliner pen and watercolor on paper
14 x 11 in

Influenced by quilts used during the Underground Railroad to send hidden messages to the traveling slaves, the drawings in Godspeed document a journey of escapism for travelers in search of a better life, for themselves and for generations to come. Quilts are used as sign markers, shields, portals, and gateways to help secure safe passage towards an “Afrotopia.” Hip Hop music, African wax fabrics, and the quilts of Gee’s Bend give form and guidance to the figures and patterns, encompassing African American history, culture, and mysticism.– MICHAEL A. BOOKER, 2020

Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi who currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Booker has been represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC since 2019

Click here to view available artworks by MICHAEL ANDREW BOOKER.

 

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

Studio visit with Ethiopian artist MERON ENGIDA

5 Aug

 

 

Ethiopian artist MERON ENGIDA shares her studio, art practice and inspiration. Contact Morton Fine Art for additional information and acquisition of her incredible paintings.

Morton Fine Art

52 O St NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON’s series “Place of Breath and Birth” created in her birth country of Puerto Rico

16 Jul

 

Place of Breath and Birth

Series, Collage, 2020

Botánica del Amor, Autorreflexión y Espiritualidad, 18 x 24, 2020

Botánica del Amor, Autorreflexión y Espiritualidad, 18 x 24, 2020

Place of Breath and Birth

Solo Exhibition at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Background:

As my first opportunity to exhibit in the Caribbean and to deepen my relationship with my birthplace, San Juan, Puerto Rico – la Isla del Encanto (the enchanted island) – I have titled this solo exhibition at Galleria de Arte, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Place of Breath and Birth. My artwork is about my personal narrative and the intersections of womanhood, patriarchy, hybridism, and Americanism. My intention is to further contextualize my narrative and artwork within the political, socioeconomic, and environmental threads that define and are often in my opinion used to control, alienate and or mistreat Puerto Ricans in generally and Afro-Puerto Ricans in particular.

The intention of this exhibition is to empower my five-year-old self. To give her the strength to fight for herself, her language and culture. I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in Arlington, Virginia. My first language was Spanish, yet at about five years old, I came home one day and told my mother: “I was not speaking Spanish anymore”. From then on, I responded to my Spanish/English speaking mother in English only. Later, I came to understand that I had surrendered my Spanish tongue—a critical part of my cultural identity— so that I could “fit” a version of myself that could possibly coincide with the prescribed box that others had for a brown-skinned girl such as myself.  Although in time, the name calling ceased, however, the micro-aggressions, insensitive questions, assumptions, and judgments about my brownness lingered. Throughout this life, time-after-time, I have had to choose to identify with my brownness/blackness over the other cultural ties that bind other Spanish speaking people with their culture.

My Caribbean family—with roots in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Antigua— has long been impacted and splintered, by the search or pursuit of education, better income, and greener pastures. As with all achievement, there are gains and losses. The fruit includes a well-educated family with greater exposure to the world and economic and social opportunities. Yet, the primary sacrifice is our distance from the thickened knotted roots of Caribbean Black and Latino heritage and culture that living at home might have provided. – AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, 2020

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Visiting Puerto Rico:

In preparation for this exhibit, my mother and I spent two weeks in September 2019 Puerto Rico. My mother was returning to her childhood home and I was visiting for the first time as an adult. Since then, I have returned to PR to give an artist talk as part of Sagrado de Corazon’s visiting art program and to live in PR for extended period to produce the artwork for this exhibition.  Due to the impact of continuing earthquakes in Puerto Rico from 2019 unward and the COVID 19 epidemic, the format and focus of this artwork has shifted. On July 10, 2020, Place of Breath and Birth will be featured online by the Galleria de Arte, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón on its website at https://www.sagrado.edu/visitingartist/. Additionally, please check out the interview with myself and Norma Vila, Directora de la Galería de Sagrado at https://insagrado.sagrado.edu/las-recientes-iniciativas-de-la-galeria-de-sagrado/?fbclid=IwAR3omEVgPUlcm67lRRBbaliuhimPu6GK-PwK4toQS7CNH0y5IxsidHs9kUw to find out additional details about the residency and my experiences in Puerto Rico.

The Artwork:

Upon its completion, Place of Breath and Birth, will include ten (10) mix-media collages. This digital exhibit includes the first four collage works of the series. Included in this virtual exhibition are the following works: Botánica del Amor, Autorreflexión y Espiritualidad (Botany of Love, Self-reflection and Spirituality), La Island del Encanto (The Island of Enchantment), and Tendedero, Comunidad y Energía Eterna (Clothesline, Community and Eternal Energy). Each collage measures 18 X 24 inches and is made of acrylic paint, magazine paper, permanent ink line drawings, fabric, and other mixed media items.

A foundational symbology of this body of work is the Fiscus Elastica commonly known as the Rubber Tree, rubber fig or rubber plant.  I was introduced to the Rubber Tree while in Puerto Rico on the grounds of the Universidad de Sagrado de Corazón (University of the Sacred Heart) campus. Among its extensive botanical collection of indigenous plants of Puerto Rico; I found a large banyan tree whose broad canopy sheltered smaller versions of itself growing at its feet. This tree appeared to be a literal fusion of past, present and future state of creation or sustaining an ecosystem. In La Isla del Encanto (pictured below) and throughout this series are abstracted representations of the rubber tree– an entanglement of strong roots – as a example of its resiliency this tree most recently stood-fast to its native soil while 155 mph winds that battered the campus.

Isla del Encanta, 18 x 24, 2020

Isla del Encanta, 18 x 24, 2020

The second most important symbolic layer of the work are the depictions and interpretations of the transitions of day to night and night to day. I intentionally choose a studio and apartment on the third floor in Puerto Nuevo with three-dimensional exposure to light. I then surrounded myself with plants to create an internal garden a reflection of the thousands of “porch gardens” featured throughout PR neighborhoods. From this perch, I could see the changing environment as the light increased or waned and how the varying aspects of weather altered each day. Depending on where I stood, and the time of day, I had a virtual window into the varying socioeconomics aspects of diversity of the island. The combination of the verdant and vibrant nature of the island landscape, my internal garden and the third floor weather allowed for the feeling of creating an atmosphere.

As I progressed through researching, photographing, living and ultimately creating after the beginning of COVID 19 quarantine the cylinder abstracted rubber tree forms expanded to circular ecospheres to convey a spiritual and ethereal connections to and within my immediate environment. Throughout some of the artworks I am a figure, a witness to the beauty and complexity of the Puerto Rican landscape – tropical jungle, 1,000 of miles of carreteras, the co-mingling and isolation of three major ethnic/racial groups – Taino, the Spanish and Africans, the strangle hold of the United States and the impact of the Caribbean Sea, with its threat of hurricanes, scorching summer heat and lush landscape.

Ultimately, I hope this narrative and artwork gives voice to others who walk in brownness—who breathe within a female form, and or—- who do not quite fit the norms…yet are Bold and Proud. – AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, 2020

Tendedero, Comunidad y Energía Eterna, 18 x 24, 2020

Tendedero, Comunidad y Energía Eterna, 18 x 24, 2020

Elemental: Tierra, Aire, Agua, Fuego, 18 x 24, 2020

Elemental: Tierra, Aire, Agua, Fuego, 18 x 24, 2020

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)
mortonfineart@gmail.com