My paintings originate from an exploration of self, using allegorical imagery as a representation for the complexities of life. My aim is to represent alternative ways of observing the world around us, and therefore allow space for Black people to envision worlds and futures that do not exist in our current reality, divorced from capitalism, colonialism, and gender binaries.
Each piece represents a dreamlike fantasy and a feeling of alchemical wonder. Sentiments of transporting through worlds, breaking barriers, and encountering magical moments are paramount throughout this and most of the work I create. My approach to the work often includes sourcing metaphoric imagery and details to help convey a complex range of emotions.
My work, in part, calls forth the importance of vulnerability (depictions of anatomical hearts and literal windows to the soul) as a tool for growth. I utilize acrylic paint, gouache, fabric, decorative paper, faux pearls, shells, and other materials to enforce the complexity of our human nature and the layered relationships we hold with ourselves.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
San Francisco born, Inglewood based contemporary artist Marie-Jose began painting in 2016, employing surrealism as a tool for inspiring a previously indiscernible future and occasionally reimagining the past. Along with painting, collage & mixed media are the vehicles for exploring the multiplicity of the Black femme experience. Influenced by artists such as Rene Magritte, Kerry James Marshall, and the artist’s Nigerian heritage, many scenes offer Black figures among dreamlike cloudscapes and thematic metaphors that refer to the intricacy of life, the consequence of introspection, and feelings of vulnerability, hope, and courage. Defining their style as ‘Afro-Surrealistic’, the work reexamines the pre-conceived barriers of Black liberation.
Marie-Jose has participated in numerous art markets and festivals nationwide, and had paintings in the Affordable Art Fair in New York and Aqua Art Miami in Miami Beach in 2022. They have shown work with the LA LGBT Center and the Museum of Science + Industry in Chicago. They were also a recent 2022 Artist in Residence participant in Fukuoka, Japan and made their international debut with an exhibition with Studio Kura.