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Nakeisha Gumbs

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Through dominant use of gold paint, I create portraits about ?divine? characters to convey contemporary discourses on class, race, gender and sexuality. I use images of the Orishas as an attempt to confront a Black experience and plight of Otherness and fourth class citizenship, unique to women of color globally. Although I primarily work with painting on two-dimensional surfaces, my interests in ritualistic functions of sculpture and fetishes in African and Native art forms, directs incorporating three-dimensional objects to my pieces. Personifying mortals of African descent through stereotypical exaggerations of spiritual subjects, I employ black because it is a loaded racial signifier charged with representation, and for its negative and positive connotations; resembling the infiniteness of space and Love, its velvety texture is boundaries, traveling to any given epoch or reality. Through evolving thoughts on womanliness and sexuality, I am beginning investigations that synchronize multicultural representations of women, to examine the journey through Buddha?s four noble truths and the path toward Enlightenment, Love and the end of Suffering. Although my images are theological, these ?celestial? characters are every woman, representing experiences of women of color globally and their positions to be active agents to manifest change in the world.

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