Fetish No.1 (Healthy Competition)
tulle, styrofoam pearls, freshwater pearls, sequins, swarovski crystals, leather, hair
20 x 36 in.
The overarching themes of beauty, sexuality, race relations and femaleness, my work examines the complexities that surround the Black Female body. Each piece sheds light on the inequities that Black Women face through a satirical lens. From the historic hyper- sexualization and masculinization of Black Female bodies to the self- exploitation of these same bodies, my work juxtaposes the relationship between purpose and pleasure. The dualities of my work are reflective of the cultural ideologies and stereotypes behind beauty, femininity, and sexuality. Taking notes from history, pop culture, and my personal experiences, I aim to unveil the Black Female experience throughout my entire body of work.
There is a double standard between white women and women of color when it comes to beauty and sexuality; as many still view us and our bodies as other, as objects, and as less. The ideas associated with commodity, power and fetish are key influences to my practice as there are several cultures that coin the term; including African fetish, BDSM, and fashion commodity. These influences are echoed in my material choices. My pieces are both static and inviting in nature; heavily layered with history and material. Each piece has an obsessive quality; often featuring repeating patterns and traditional craft techniques cloaked in a myriad of contemporary sculptural materials and forms. Using materials and forms that are slightly comical, my pieces and exhibits are designed to make viewers aware of their own biases as well as the bizarre ways in which our society judges women.
We should have the freedom to explore and expose whatever when it comes to our bodies, sexuality, and femaleness without bearing the burden of white and male prudence. Through highlighting these perspectives I strive to make Black Women more sex-positive and comfortable with bold self-expression—while simultaneously making others more accepting of it.
© Jade Williams