13 Black Artists on Life in America Right Now

Vogue, July 15, 2020

[..] The Artist Statements project is an ever-evolving creative tribute to the agonies and the ecstasies of Black American life-from police brutality and civil rights activism to the close bonds of community. At a powerful moment of reckoning both across the country and around the world, it serves as a living document, regularly reflecting poignant new imagery and texts from leading Black contemporary artists.


My work is a response to global feminism, global Black death, my Ethiopian ancestry, and Black womxnhood and joy. It is a reflection of intersectional feminism, migration, and state-sanctioned violence. Black womxn have been at the front lines of major societal shifts, movements, revolutions in this country and internationally, yet we haven't been recognized as the Visionaries. I want to celebrate and pay tribute to our fearless efforts that continue to make the United States and the world a better place for every human being. This 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, I remember the Black womxn (and the meaning of their names) whose lives were violently cut short and also those who have been the matriarchs of our culture. -Tsedaye Makonnen


My piece, the Astral Sea II, is rooted in ritual, ceremony, remembrance, and memorialization; the mirror materials are derived from my light monuments that create space to reflect upon and honor moments of profound loss. Grappling with the long history of the dehumanization of Black women and their communities through processes that normalize their premature death. This afterlife of slavery, knowing horrors of a global capitalism built from the limited life and expedient death of Black women, harkens to the inquiry of scholars Christina Sharpe, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Igiaba Scego, and more. -Tsedaye Makonnen [...]

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