Romare Bearden inspires me because he layered a wealth of information and connotations into each piece without sacrificing—but rather enriching—the work’s overall meaning. I admire his ability to collage together disparate images and spaces into compositions that pulse with such energy and rhythm that they verge on visual cacophony but ultimately come together in harmony. His collages’ busy appearances ring with the lively mood of the Harlem Renaissance. The accuracy with which Bearden expressed the atmosphere of his community in his work serves me as a formative example: I print small images of the Nigeria I have experienced into larger self portraits, thus making a metaphor for my history’s active presence in my daily existence. Romare Bearden’s artwork has been an important influence on me, so I am honored and grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this exhibition and to pay homage to him.
Artist Audio Statement