I have always found great value in Romare Bearden's engagement with the Spiral Group artist collective. This group grew out of, and responded to, the politics around race in its moment. The collective emulated similar movements and groups of its time, but as an artist group, it laid the groundwork for many of the cultural and social organizations I am personally fond of: AfriCOBRA, the Black Arts Movement, the AACM. His involvement with this collective suggested to me an investment in community and a need to communicate the varied and complex black condition. His own work, particularly the collages and photomontages, seem to mirror this need to disseminate and transmit our multitude of experiences. Within those layers of jumbled images and faces are echoes of a diverse but shared account, and it is this method of storytelling that I have found the most influential.
b. 1975, Washington, D.CLives and works in Houston, Texas