This Artists' B.I.T.C.H. Series Gives Me Life!
The first time I saw Afro-Cuban artist Harmonia Rosales’ work I held my breath. Her art is everything I never knew I always wanted.
To me, mainstream “fine art” is often mundane and monotonous. How many more times must I walk into another museum that centers Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Degas, Van Gogh, yadee yadee yadaa? They all blend into one and start looking the same. Those works never really spoke to me, yet growing up I kept hearing that paintings like "Sunflowers" and “Water Lilies” are the apex of fine art.
In my 20s, I started to view (and enjoy) fine art exhibits from powerhouses like Shirin Neshat, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera (the mural at the DIA in Detroit!). It was also the time that I was learning about Antonio Gramsci and cultural hegemony (when the ruling-class worldview becomes the cultural norm and dominant ideology which justifies the status quo as normal instead of a social-construct made to benefit the ruling-class). The world of “fine art” finally made sense.
Enter Harmonia Rosales whose bio includes:
The visual narratives of the “masters” depicting a White heaven and the idealized subordinated woman lay at the foundation of our mediated reality of social order and a power hierarchy. They block our path to the truth. My exhibits intend to begin to clear that blockage by deconstructing the dominant social narrative through the same medium that helped create it.
Have you seen her B.I.T.C.H (Black Imaginary to Counter Hegemony) series? Birth of Oshun and Creation of God are two of my favorites. I also felt some things when I first saw America’s Civilized. Her art makes me think, ponder and most importantly question. I feel it. I love it. I am going to follow this artist because as I have already said, she gives me life. I am now following her on Instagram, biting my nails, waiting for her to announce a NYC exhibit.
Which artists give you life?