Revealed: Truths and Myths # 3
acrylic on shaped canvas
26.5 x 18.5 in.
I am a figurative artist who wants people to look beyond the outer layer of skin and search the many levels of personality and humanity within. To look beyond the masks—the many faces–we all wear. I want us to appreciate, in particular, the range of surface appearance among African-Americans and then look longer and deeper to find the beauty, both obvious and hidden.
I want people to see the range of colors and facial features of African Americans and also to encourage us to think of histories that existed beyond the Euro-centric model. I want Americans to see that through our shared, common historical bond of slavery, European and African heritages are intertwined in this country. That if we acknowledge that we are related by blood and accept that our relationship is real, we may be able to, as most families must, embrace our similarities and cherish and admire our differences.
The mask imagery in my work serves as a conduit into the depths of identity, ethnicity, humanity and multiplicity in an attempt to expose racial stereotypes. I use folded and draped stretched canvas to reflect the inevitable wrinkles in life. I work with weathered wood and multi-planed canvas to create constructions that will lead the eye to look at human imperfection as a natural and positive force.
© Joyce Owens