For this project I lead this year, my will was to base all my researches on the black hair culture. Starting from personal history, my goal was to make references to the history of black hair and show how, with all the modifications he had to undergo the last centuries (relaxer, weave, straightener and so on), we can talk about a Western influence. Dark and lovely is a series of 9 self-portrait oil paintings made on panels. Through this work I try to draw attention on several points
On one hand, I try to think on a new way to anticipate the self-portrait, that I first create numerically by taking selfies and reproduce them in painting. Like this it is possible for me to play with the instantaneity of the image and give to the simple picture comming from the cellphone, a larger dimension by the transcription in painting.
A way to depict all the hairstyles I had these last years, just like a chameleon changing its skin.
Hair are really important in the black community and rich in history. Considered as an identification symbol, the history started with the first ethnic groups of Africa, where hair played a social role. It was a way to determine not only social status but also marital status age, fertility, wealth and religion. With the years passing by, hair became a time of beautification, that allowed socializing and creating links with others.
Moreover The title "Dark and lovely" is as meaningful as contradictory .
It first gives the impression that black women have to embrace their natural beauty.
Therefore Dark and lovely is also referring to a relaxer brand , a chemical product appeared in usa in the early 60's and used by black women in order to smooth frizzy hair and denature the texture of the hair. A way to finally enter in the standard of straight western hair. With the time, it became a very common aesthetic practice in the black community, that I myself used for few years.
School: École Europenne Superieure D'art de Bretagne (EESAB) Rennes France
#art #painting #blackcommunity @ellopainting