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Xenobia Bailey
b. 1955, Seattle, Washington
Lives and works in New York, New York

Romare Bearden’s work is very inspirational to me as a practitioner of the evolution of the Aesthetic of Funk in the African-American lifestyle. I appreciate the way he used collage in a poetic way to tell the African-American story through a very funky, tribally strong, New World, fine art aesthetic.

I like to study the historically haunting quality of his technique that echoes his burden. His design sense is very original in the composition of heavy colors, raw shapes, and at times conflicting patterns of the printed cut paper. I really like these unexpected unions and artistic “reaching.”

I love the continuum that his collages have to African-American quilt-makers and musicians. Mr. Bearden constructs everything in his artwork as if he is patching together the idea of the New African in North America.

 His work is like another imagination of the journey mapped in our own mind’s eye and hands.

The work that I created for this project is titled Endless Love: Conjure Kit. I too am artistically “reaching” in this work, using some of the same recycled materials as Mr. Bearden. My statement and desire is to conduct the powers of nature, found objects, trash, and creativity, for deliverance into a civilized planet, where our humanity makes us better custodians of the earth.

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