Highlights: AfricaInAmerica.Untitled (Anthony J. Thomas)
Before I contrived the idea to create an artist collective built on the interpretation of the contemporary African American experience in the United States, I confidently planned and constructed my own work intricately enough to provide enlightenment. Before creating my personal collection of work, I developed a story using the resources and knowledge available to both my physical and spiritual being. With the objective of procuring a beautiful home for my own collection, that is not only comforting but cohesive with the concepts the work entails, I hereby present to you, a personal curation of my work from the AfricaInAmerica: Art Collective Exhibition.
There was more than just visual pleasure in this piece as it was spawned from a place of scorn, mourning and research. Beginning my painting in career in February, I decided to create a piece that will not only place my ideas on a pedestal worthy of exemplification but also beauty. As I reached a point of self-preservation, I decided to aim my interests towards that of the African-American perspective, well what I would like to call the “contemporary” perspective.
A lens which indulges in the complexities of our history, skin and current place on society. The canvas and I enjoyed multiple milestones in my life from sickness, heartbreak and academic success, from those instances I molded the concept that would fill the fine threaded linen, that stretched firmly over the wooden muscle that now holds one of the most honest creations I have made to date.
AfricaInAmerica.Untitled, is constructed of mixed media. Each element of this painting significantly represents the soul of the African-American male, the character that carries him from day to day. The composition of each element is stable, once the media reaches a point of instability, when it is then considered weak and insufficient. The eleven stripes represent the eleven impoverished, dangerous and shunned predominantly African-American cities in the United States.
These cities are: Detroit, New Orleans, Missouri, Memphis, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C, New York, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Montgomery. This list is comprised of cities who were once loved and gilded as the “meccas” of anything from the realm of music, art, textile, industry etc. With an intense lack of guidance, assistance and growth these cities remain in the dark, looked over and forgotten. I honor these cities and ask the powers at hand, to use my work as a guideline…a blueprint for the future of the American “religion” where the resources and beauty we seek in the land of others, can be found here bold, in COLOR.