6AB5E260-C3C6-4B71-9ADA-F5FA1B9FDBAF.JPE

Artist Statement

Lionel Daniels

          My work and process are currently evolving. In my previous work, I recreated old photos into lively acrylic paintings that represented different social issues within the African American Community. I painted these pieces with only my bare hands. I have moved into a different direction and have picked up using brushes.

            While visiting the west wing of the National Gallery of Art, I noticed something that troubled me as I viewed many of the museum’s illustrious religious paintings: Just about the entire collection was white depictions of Christianity/Judaism. As a Black artist, I felt left out and not well represented and I knew others felt the same. The only time I could remember seeing Black depictions within Christianity was from the prints of Jesus in the Family Dollar store. Although there are many black artists that discuss Christianity in their work, there are not many that focus solely on representing the biblical stories through Black figures.  

          In thinking about how to represent these stories in the sense of stamping blackness, I gravitated toward Afro Futurism. Themes such as alienation, reclamation, and the future drew me into wanting to recreate biblical stories through this cultural aesthetic. Rooted in concentrating on identity, overcoming alienation, current social issues, and establishing Blackness within the religious realm of art, the work consist of realistic acrylic paintings presented in a universalized installation.