FOR MY GIRLS
I empower women by portraying us with powerful, determination and focus. Many of my images feature women in confident poses taken from a heroic angle. In “For My Girls” I explore how 1990s female hip-hop artists inspired me to be proud of my African-American lineage, unapologetic for my liberated behavior and forceful in my approach to the culture at large. To translate this into photographic form, I start by creating highly active studio portraits of young black women, style them appropriately and ask them to strike specific poses. Then I paint and draw on the actual photographic prints, producing a one-of-a-kind image. Each subject determines the way I apply the paint, some strokes are aggressive and others are fluid.
During the 1990s black women were a dominating force in hip-hop. Artists such as Missy Elliot, Da Brat, Queen Latifah and Salt’ n Pepa had boisterous voices and styles to match. All of these women had unique musical sensibilities, fashion choices and physical attributes. As a girl growing up in the 1990s, I viewed many of these artists as role models. There was an element of sisterhood among them that I admired and that I feel is missing in today’s hip-hop culture. I hope that “For My Girls” will empower women as a whole to honor themselves as well as the women who inspire them.