thomas roma. sunset park.
© 1998. new york city.
"here a camera becomes an instrument of a sharply knowing lyrical poetry that draws its energy from a late-twentieth-century urban scene; and here, as consequence, a poignant vitality and unassuming humanity are rescued from the flow of life’s events."
— robert coles
erykah badu “call tyrone” (ch. 147: niggas + flys, 1998)
georgia o’keeffe. series i, no. iii.
© 1918. oil on board.
fugees by melodie mcdaniel for vibe jun/july ‘96.
"if you look good and you rhyme, you get that much more props… i keep my clothes on, so i’m not emphasizing that part of me. i represent the anti-chickenhead. right now it’s popular for women to promote this really dumb, money-hungry image. it’s not healthy. we can’t see the affects now, but that shit is gonna be painful later." – lauryn hill, as told to sacha jenkins
alek wek in “simply charming” by gilles bensimon for elle april ‘97.
kerry james marshall. watts, 1963.
© 1995. acrylic + collage on canvas.
this colorful, mural-sized canvas depicts nickerson gardens in watts of los angeles, where the artist’s family lived for two years after moving from alabama.
watts ‘63 was created as part of his “garden project”—a series of five paintings that considers the irony of garden-named housing projects in los angeles + chicago.
the only autobiographical work of the series, watts ‘63 depicts the artist at age eight, with his brother + sister, beneath the bluebird-held alabama motto, “here we rest,” reflecting the optimism of the community amidst poverty, despair + violence.
“…and thus, my friends, what the profession lacks is understanding of its own social importance. this lack is due to a double cause: to the anti-social nature of our entire society and to your own inherent modesty. you have been conditioned to think of yourselves merely as breadwinners with no higher purpose than to earn your own existence. isn’t it time, my friends, to pause and redefine your position in society? of all the crafts, yours is most important. important, not in the amount of money you might make, not in the artistic skill you might exhibit, but in the service you render to your fellow men. you are those who provide mankind’s shelter. remember this and then look at our cities, at our slums, to realize the gigantic task awaiting you. but to meet this challenge you must be armed with a broader vision of yourselves and your work. you are not hired lackeys of the rich. you are crusaders of the underprivileged and the unsheltered. not by what we are shall we be judged, but by those we serve. let us stand united in this spirit.”
— ellsworth m. toohey, the fountainhead
cecily brown, pyjama game.
© 1998. oil on linen.
sade, “nothing can come between us.” (stronger than pride, 1988)