I have always been interested in multiple images, multiplicity as it pertains to how we live our lives, and multiplicity in terms of who we are.
The idea of multiple images means at least a couple of things for me. First, more than one kind of object interests me as subject matter and materials for my work. Mainly I use the human form, but trees, clouds, and other forms found in nature or geometry are of great interest to me as well. Secondly, layered images evoke feelings of complexity which reflect reality for me. And I love to use unconventional materials and transform them into works of art that are my own inventions.
For me, there are the added multiplicity issues which include race, gender and ethnicity.
Most of us are an amalgam of cultures and ethnicities by virtue of birth. In the U.S.A. the Eurocentric culture struggles to remain dominant. That is slowly eroding. History tells us that there were other highly developed cultures about which we are not routinely taught.
My work primarily asks, "What if the history of the diverse cultures of Africa was promoted the way the Renaissance in Europe has been? How would I (and others like me) be perceived differently in my present culture?"
Race is a big issue based on a false premise; the reality is that most of us are blends of many races. Hopefully, with the Obama presidency, we will learn to accept each other for the content of our character and not the color of our skin..
“Retro-racing” used in some of my titles was inspired by Kymberly Pinder’s article entitled “Race-ing Art History”.
Joyce Owens, Artist statement
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