My paintings are based on photographs of my mixed race family. My skin tone gives the impression that I don’t struggle fitting into the majority, which is untrue. I use photographs of my father’s side of the family because I feel there was so much beauty in their lives, even as they struggled to live up to white standards. I see the abstraction of my figures as symbolic of imperfection, as is all creation through human hands. By attempting to fit into either category of black or white I find myself as a grey paint stroke overlapping the two, not completely blending into one color or the other. Acrylic paint can be moved and maneuvered smoothly; it doesn’t mix easily and dries quickly allowing me to create unblended shapes. The thick unblended strokes I make represent my experiences as a mixed race individual, my lack of acceptance in modern and political society, and my struggle to fit into one race or the other.
When starting a painting, I usually feel anger or sadness for my family members and what they have had to live through. I demonstrate these emotions through my color choice. The purple in my work is the most consistent throughout my pieces, to represent my blended ethnicity. I use a lot of pink in my artwork to symbolize the universal love of one’s self and others. I add the ghostly blue to suggest the idea that these are memories from the past.
My paintings explore the complicated and controversial relationship our country has developed between blacks and whites; although much time has passed, there has been little progress in mending the relationship between the two. I believe in education and creativity, and through my imagery I aim to educate others on the minority figure as beautiful, relatable, powerful, and belonging in art just a much as the white figure. I struggle with my light skin, and that I am considered passing. I struggle to find my place between my own two cultures and within my current mixed relationship.
About the Artist:
Addie was born in 1997 in Denver, Colorado and received a BFA in Studio Art, with an emphasis in drawing and painting, as well as a four years of training in Animation, Film, Photography and Motion Design at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction Colorado. Finding her voice and acceptance through representing her racial background of half African American, and half Caucasian. After graduating College she moved back to Denver residing in her father’s childhood home in Five Points, where many of the photographs her paintings are based off of were taken. Alike her family members she is currently in a mixed relationship with her significant other, Angel.
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