A few years ago, I stumbled across a book I own about Bearden. I cannot remember if it was his autobiography, but I can imagine someone giving it to me. You see, we are both black and we both paint and that’s enough for some people. Nonetheless, what stood out for me were Bearden’s recollections of his adolescent summers at his grandmother’s boarding house. I, too, spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s boarding house in Los Angeles. As a boy, I loved to watch people living with one foot in the bed and the other in the streets. Now, thinking about Bearden’s work, I wonder if the determination that I felt to reimagine supposedly disparate parts while looking at his work might have found a voice in those rooms of long ago.
b. 1961, Los Angeles, CaliforniaLives and works in Los Angeles, California