African Americans today are faced with centuries of myths and misguided perceptions perpetuated by the dominant cultural; to a point they have reached a fever pitch across the country. At times, the African American male is a prisoner within himself and trapped in his neighborhood usually because of his race or circumstance. One could argue that he was dead before birth.
I often return to my old neighborhood to record images of the people there. My figures are typically distorted to reflect the pressure and anxiety individuals feel inside and the perceptions and expectations imposed upon them by society. These images illustrate the most pressing issues of contemporary life.
Recent events of street demonstrations in Ferguson MO. and Baltimore MD, following the deaths of black individuals by law enforcement officers, are depicted with men that have cigarettes stuck in their noses to block inhalation of tear gas and older activists observing the strategy of the young millennials and figures entangled with hands bounded to illustrate the concept of black men trapped within their own circumstances. http://jessehowardstudio.com/
Currently, Black Rock Editions is working with an artist who is making large scale stone lithographs, his first ever. Jesse Howard arrived at BRE this week to begin work on a series of editions that are being published by ETC-Industries/C.Editions. Both the artist and the publisher are based in Chicago. We will be posting images and details about the project as they become available. This project is one of our most ambitious collaborations with an artist and publisher.