Osaze Akil Stigler
200 My work takes a contemporary view on Black autonomy of self, space, and divinity. I reimagine Black, often femme, subjects in regal depictions of power, comfort, and exaltation combining both historical motifs and experiences as well as Afrofuturistic thought processes. I analyze and critique the ways in which we define power from a racial and gendered perspective, and the ways in which white supremacist foundations have shaped those definitions. My initial ideas of depicting Black Divinity stemmed from a desire to combat the trauma of always seeing significant spiritual and biblical figures in visual art subconsciously reinforce notions of white glory and supremacy. I create art that situates Black subjects in these classical contexts as representations of our full humanity in an other-worldly, almost dream-like way. My background in urban planning and landscape architecture has fostered my exploration of “constructed space,” examining the power of having the ability and access to manipulate and curate our own environments as Africandescended peoples.