I practice “Art of social change.” This is a very specific philosophy of artwork that has ethics at the very core of it. It is first and foremost a collaboration involving an artist or group of artists and most typically a marginalized, and/or oppressed population. Through collaborative respectful dialogue, ideas are discussed that are important to the non-artist population about issues of concern followed by a brainstorm of how we can use art to raises awareness about the chosen issue(s). It is a way to give agency and power to the non-artists allowing them to be a part of an artistic process that tells their story aesthetically.
There is a disconnect in modern society with suffering. The adaptation of modern photography combined with the ubiquity of our visual culture has led to people becoming overly desensitized and inured to the pain and suffering of others; especially the world’s most vulnerable. This is the focal point of my humanitarian artwork and portraiture I refer to as “Humanity art.”
My process involves uniting art and social change in an effort to bring awareness to and fight for HUMANITY. HUMANITY ART is an ongoing series that aims to bring awareness to marginalized and oppressed peoples globally. Inspired by pain, intoxicated by beauty and driven by truth. Using art as a method to fight injustice, shine light on systemic oppression and paint the one thing the world needs most right now: truth. It is art for the sake and betterment of humanity.
When I paint, I can literally feel colour as if I’m enveloped in it; guided by the emotion and spirit of the individual. Just as Michelangelo spoke of seeing an angel in the marble and carving until he set them free. I see a person’s soul in colour and paint until the colours reveal who they are. If eyes are the windows to the soul then the face tells the story of someone’s life. Being able to paint the resilience and power in the eyes of a refugee who fled war, or the innocence and compassion in the eyes of a child who survived life on the streets all an effort to help change the global circumstance of those in similar positions; this is my purpose in life. A brush is my weapon of choice in the fight for humanity. To do this ethically, I work in solidarity with NGO's and individuals from around the world using the philosophy of art for social change.
“I want to paint the children who reside in the shadows... so you may see them in the light... the colonized whose mother tongues were lost... so you may hear their truth. I want you to recognize your reflection in the depth and breadth of the canvas as you inhale and exhale momentarily becoming that which you seek... as you begin to see the collateral beauty of suffering... forcing you to face your OWN humanity.... you see, I seek to paint the TRUTH... so you may not look AWAY.”