I C O N O G R A P H Y
Iconography is an evolving body of work influenced by Byzantine icons and religious iconography. While in Venice during the Biennale, I again stood charmed by the tilework, mosaics, and icons found across Italy. This transformative experience moved me to devote myself to embarking on a more profound journey into iconography.
An icon is a work typically religious in nature. These visual declarations were used to assist the observer in focusing on all things sacred and were viewed more as literal prayers than art. Believed to serve as conduits to the divine, each was meticulously crafted by an iconographer embarking on a journey of prayer and meditation. As they created, their hands were believed to have been guided by the spirit of the most high. While my "icons" deviate from the traditional context of worship, like icons of the past, they nevertheless call on the viewer to recognize their significance, preciousness, sacred nature, and value as they embody my prayers for them and the world. And, reminiscent of the tesserae used to make Byzantine mosaics, the gilded paper remnants of my past works cut into tiny tiles take on new energy as they're carefully arranged, constructing works transcending the earthly, connecting to the heavens.
As this series develops, the viewer will begin to notice more iconographic portrayals of historical Black figures integrated into the clothing of my subjects. Just as Byzantine icons serve as windows to the spiritual realm, may my icons serve as a means of sending gratitude to our ancestors and a connection to those who helped shape our lives throughout history.