"I know my work is recognized as abstract at first glance but they are still dealing with the body, hence why I say they are figural. My focus has never shifted from the body. The only things that have changed are my choices in depicting forms which caused a domino effect in the way the colors, compositions, and space is manipulated. In this new body of work specifically, figurative forms are more recognizable in some of the paintings. In contrast, others are a bit more suggestive due to their fragmented nature, which I find much more exciting and intriguing to look at."
"I like to compile an endless amount of references—photos, words, descriptions, events, etc. The objective of this compilation is so that I do not pigeonhole myself into just recreating an image found and taken and instead I task myself with constructing concepts, themes, and threads for the works to live and communicate in. I am all over the place but there is joy in the chaos. That’s literally the point of painting and making things for me."
You describe this turn to abstraction as allowing the work to incorporate more of yourself. Could you speak to the different entry points abstraction created in your work?
"Art is a conduit and just like any form of communication we construct languages to share ideas. This shift is simply me incorporating another language to articulate said ideas and experiences in a way that does not fall into the space of spoon-feeding the image because I find that to be unfulfilling and unfair to those who see and experience my work."
What are your cultural references, both in contemporary culture as well as in the past?
"My mother is from Haiti, my father is from Alabama so I have Caribbean and southern roots which are respectively rich with their own cultures and histories. Outside of my personal bubble, I find it difficult to put a definite label on what my cultural references are and I think this has changed significantly since coming to New York. I most certainly have common themes and topics that I discuss in my work but I aim to stay open and privy in most areas of art and pop culture as well things that happen in real time every day. I am more concerned with enabling myself to have endless vantage points for me to access to heighten accessible entry points for those to enter my work."
How has your time living in New York altered your process? Is there a sense of place reflected in the work?
"New York is an amazing place that has pushed my work and practice beyond my own personal stratosphere. Due to the hyperactive environment, the energy definitely stampedes into the way I think and create. There is always something going on out here so I never run out of ideas. The environment is essential for me because my points of cultural reference are so vast it enables me to be fluid in determining what goes into the work and when. I like the idea of creating a place that is in a stable state of movement because it mimics the ever-changing nature of the life we know."
"It's Not Love, But It's Glam" is the title of your first solo exhibition at T293 in Rome. The title leaves open the relationship between the two terms, love and glam, and whether the statement is meant positively or negatively. What were you thinking with the title and does the statement reflect a personal experience or a societal one?
"Whether the title is to be taken positively or negatively is truly indicative of how the audience views and identifies with the works in the show. There is an innate drama that makes up the relationship between love and glam. I was thinking of a plethora of topics and events, both personal and societal—stemming from displacement, unfair stereotypes placed upon those who live in housing projects, and even the false narratives of luxury living, in large part related to the rise of influencer culture on social media. “It’s Not Love, But It’s Glam” is a statement that speaks to the unfortunate circumstances placed on most people, yet we can always find peace in the aspects of life that we find dearest to our hearts."