Christopher E. Harrison
This series of artworks uses appropriated and self-created images that address the mythic, and sometimes truthful, African-American cultural persona. By rendering the surface decay of images, textured materials, and language, the visual disintegration within the works informs the breakdown of the cultural psyche that has persisted over centuries of oppression, miseducation, and division of the Black race throughout history. I see my current approach as a form of political and civic engagement for myself. This view has grown out of my experiences trying to understand social issues within my culture and the development of my identity as an artist, as a Black man, and as an American, while mining those issues as inspiration. Using references ranging from comics to historical icons, I question and challenge the sometimes stereotypical tropes within the greater social zeitgeist that exists to inspire a more honest depiction of Black lives in our minds and hearts.