Timothy Short, After 1000 Years Diptych (top), oil on canvas, 2019
After 1000 Years Diptych (bottom), oil on canvas, 2019
I’ve always been enthralled by narrative. The thought of creating characters and granting them life with dynamic motivations only limited by my own imagination is what brought me into my own as a visual artist. Each canvas or panel is an episode in a saga where I work with the Black figure to create an emotional atmosphere and build worlds.
In these imaginative spaces, Blackness is dynamic and infinite – a visual spectrum of emotion ranging from the welcoming to the foreboding, the material to the metaphysical, Heaven to Hell, and all states in between. Storytelling across vast different media captures my imagination in a way that I am forced to accumulate such inspiration and create. It is my natural inclination to use this creative process to commit ideas to form in service of the community I love.
In my more recent works, I have appropriated the “halo” as a popular symbol in classical painting, to serve as both metaphorical language and point of action for the subjects of my work. The “Black halo” or “sphere” indicates the divinity of the subjects of my work and also serves as a portal for the Black consciousness. Black folks travel throughout time and space in Black spheres powered by the living essence of Black experiences of all Black persons. These Black spheres are gateways to safe spaces and demonstrate the power of Black emotionality and conviction.
I was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia and I moved to Atlanta in order to attend Georgia State and pursue art in 2011. I am predominantly an oil painter, and I use the medium to investigate the Black figure within constructed narrative spaces. I create stories meant to venerate the everyday people I know using cosmological and celestial imagery. I grant an iconography to the subjects of my work, detailing them in darker palettes, meant to subvert associations of lighter colors and spaces as inherently good or divine. My inspirations are Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Jordan Casteel amongst many other painters, a host of manga and comics, and great Black music.