Imagine riding along the desert coast, windows open, as you say goodbye to the person you once knew, as you birth a new you…a new identity.
The smell of fresh cactus piercing your nostrils. Tiny toes covered in hot sand. Small giggles fill the quiet winds, as the long fingers curl underneath your arms. Knees buckling. Eyes squinting from the blazing sun...as you dream of your name in lights. Hollywood style.
The portrait I have painted of Brandon, Arizona native, childhood as he shares what it means to take up space as a Black artist.
As a digital collage artist, Brandon finds his childhood memories to be a source of inspiration for his work.
Self-portrait, titled “Me as Child”.
“The velvet wallpaper like that in my grandparent’s house, and obsession with plants and animals and a rainbow representing a budding sense of queer identity”
What is Art?
Passive, Actively Absorbed. Create artwork to fill the space.
Brandon looks back on the last year, the year the world stopped. As flames flickered across the most painful communities in America, Black Americans chanting 'Black Lives Matters' where fists rose, as high as the mountains we sought to reach.
Brandon describes the moment as a crossroads as a Black artist.
“Beautiful & Celebrated”
Describing what it means to display Blackness in his art.
To unravel the identities that envelop Black people in society.
The use of fabric to redefine Beauty and Blackness.
Fabrics. Textures. Nature.
“How do I maintain the authentic creativity without trying to go into intention and how the art would be perceived?”
Black, Gay Man in America.
A White America.
What brings you joy?
“Getting lost in the creative process of art. In the Zone. Humor. Making people laugh and people making me laugh. Music. Alternative R&B.”
Brandon credits his friend for his latest vinyl, War of Drugs Live. Song titled, It's Your Destiny.
Thank you, friend! We will take a listen. “Instrumental” Brandon advises.
His love for music drove him to the crates of some of the most iconic collages. #collageartwork
Remember this one! Michael Jackson, Dangerous, 1991
Some of the digital artists, Brandon's recent inspiration, are @the.daily.splice @alexgrabowskiii @ian_woods.
Brandon currently works full-time in South Central, Los Angeles, CA as an early intervention speech therapist. Proud owner of his own practice, he has made a commitment not only to listen but to understanding the stories of children and families from the South Central community. Acknowledging there is a real need to support families in need, to respond to the developmental needs of children.
Bee My Valentine
Analog collage + acrylic paint + watercolor + ink + digital illustration
Los Angeles, CA
One of his favorite books, Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa
“She occupies her own space”
Brandon admires her active forge of identity from the here and there, the places where she is not accepted.
The Negotiations of Identities.
“Creating without fear of how it will be perceived”
Follow @alltheboystotheart for more artwork and conversation he continues to define and redefine Blackness in the Black art community!
BLK Arthouse, Creative Director