Artist Statement

In Toure’s book, “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?” he defines the term “post-blackness” as a way for African American artists to be identified such that their work can be seen beyond the sociological/stereotypical definition of “Black Art.”  Early in this book, he talks about the freedom that New Blacks have to be themselves without feeling as though they are tethered to a past that they do not agree with or one that they feel they are not a product of. Truth is my work is a colorful reminder of promises still unkept, imperialism still institutionalized, and stealth deceit that has stolen the dreams and birthrights of twenty generations of a once proud people.  It stands in contrast to the canon just as Norman Lewis’ work stood in contrast to those who framed early abstract expressionism. 

When I turned eighteen years old, my grandfather told me about a tree on his property where African American men had been lynched by their neckties on their way to vote.  The experience left a profound impression. I am personally tethered to this inescapable memory.

Since 1992, my art has been based on the relationship between sight sound and color which deals with music from the African American community such as jazz, rap, hip hop, gospel, and blues. Thus, my work is rooted in a place of targeted tragedy. Its curvilinear twists, knots, and loops are fed by the energy found in the souls of ALL those who toil and triumph everyday against the odds and against the unheralded tragedies of life.  My work is a universal story with both hero and villain, good and evil.   The narrative is embedded like html code. It is not visible to the eye, but it can be decoded...

© Kevin Cole 2023. All rights reserved
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