How did you get into debt?
Undergraduate student loans at University of Southern California (BFA); Graduate student loans at Parsons The New School (MFA); and four different credit cards in order to survive as an artist.
Describe your art practice
My work deals with the concept of markmaking in the physical and metaphysical sense. Using paintings and installation art as tools to mark spaces and places, I play with the notion that thought processes and bodies are mark-makers or placeholders within society. Much like “X” in math, a mark becomes the unknown symbol that occupies a place until it is decoded. I realize that my black body in the western society functions as “x” does in math. It is always unknown. It is simultaneously feared, adored, wanted, and mistreated. Recently, I have been using a lot of popular song lines or titles in naming some of the work. “King Kunta,” by Kendrick Lamar; “If I Rule The World,” by Nas featuring Lauren Hill; and “Allow Me To Introduce Myself,” a line from a song by Jay-Z are a few among the many song lines playfully used to title each work.
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
Yes, I would have a lot more time to make my artwork develop it faster than my current pace. The extra hours I work for money goes to my bills and credit cards. I would stress less if I didn't have such an immense amount of student debt.