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So what, the dam work changed!

Most artist go their entire art life creating the same type of work. Some never pushing the boundaries beyond what they are comfort with or never bring their work to the edge and letting it fall over to create something new ... something different. Just like everyone else I have seen work like this and said .. "what if?.. they " but is this any of my business?!  Not really.
My work began to change years before I allowed it to, for example, I did a cover piece for a local magazine in Austin and the art was so different from the current Noman Rockwell stuff I had been doing for years it surprise even me. This change was always lurking in my work, so one summer I just let go. I let go of what was working and let crazy, imperfect, weird, unrecognizable, terrible, amateurish art happen. I created work that held no loyalty to clients, schools, friends, other artists and galleries. It was liberating in so many ways but what i didn't anticipate was the total loss of my art business. I lost clients and supporters who were so invested in my practice that they felt betrayed and made it clear that they felt I was now doing work for white (??) people and that I was no longer doing work that was understandable to Black people. Really? What no one was seeing at the time was I was honoring the work and my practice as an artist. Just like human beings art is about growth both in scholarship and in practice and It matters how you allow that growth to happen. The images I were doing were fine but they were no longer challenging to me. I forgot how it felt to struggle with issues such as multi surfaces, themes, materials, text, and media.
I have always done work about identity and race I'm just no longer giving it to you. This work requires you to see beyond the surface. Yes, there's a huge difference in the work I did in the past and my current work, but most importantly, what haven't change is the fact the work still challenges the notions of Blackness, fragility and beauty in social issues and contemporary politics.


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It’s funny how one part of my life has come full circle since my studio visit with the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2006 I travelled to SMH to speak with Lowery Stokes Sims, then their executive director, and left with the feeling that much more work and scholarship needed to be done.  I met with SMH’s newest associate curator Connie Choi and assistant curator Hallie Ringle and felt good about it. Of course there is always work to do, but I feel much closer. Twins (2017) is now part of their permanent collection! Thelma Golden before Twins Nobody’s Darling: Women and Representation at UT Austin’s Christian-Green gallery continues over the course of this summer and concludes on August 4, 2017. As I’ve said, I’m thrilled to have support in Austin and am as happy to see varying interest across the US. I will participate in the 2017 Art on the Vine atMart…