Jonah Elijah

Region: MFA Annual

I negotiate and celebrate the concept of being Black with my narratives, exploration of identity, portraiture, and language. Through abstraction, representation, and assemblage I use my memories to depict the experience of being raised in a predominantly Black neighborhood. My hope is that these scenes from my journey provide nostalgia for the viewer.

When it comes to innovation, I’m always in search of new ways to bring my ideas to life. Currently, I have been dissecting sneakers and attaching them in my pieces to help the viewer walk in my shoes.

My work invites viewers to look at these experiences both literally and metaphorically, echoing my upbringing. I not only want people to see scenes from my life, but also to feel what it’s like to be a part of my larger community—and to maybe even feel what it’s like be Black in America.