"Why do you paint what you paint, draw what you draw?" It's a question I get quite a bit, and it's a fair one. Sometimes, behind mere curiosity, I sense an implied " . . . instead of a puppy dog or a unicorn?"
Well, I can't do that. I respect artists who do and do it well, but I'm saddled with the desire to create something different. This no doubt means my work suffers in the marketplace for lack of general appeal; but I have found that in confronting repeatedly over the years the notion of painting or drawing something more "commercial" that I rebel. It's just not in me.
As I've written in earlier posts, I hope my pieces evoke an emotional response or prompt intellectual curiosity or challenge long-held beliefs. I put this drawing in the last category. How does the viewer, especially one who's a devout Christian or at least familiar with Christian iconography, react to the use of explicity African images as replacements for Mary and Jesus?
More than anything, this piece is a reaction to the plethora of idealized depictions of Jesus as a kind of Aryan rock star, a la Jim Morrison. Call it my antidote. I'm sure it won't be the last.
Madonna and Child
Graphite on paper
5 x 7
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