BRANDY BOND

Artist Statement

 

Brandy Bond, American portrait/fine arts photographer, was born on May 27th, 1980. Brandy Bond graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 2013 studying Television Production. And attended DePaul University of Chicago studying Journalism. It was not until she traveled to Baltimore during the Freedom March (May 2015) following the death of Freddy Gray, in police custody, that she had her first art show curated by Cynthia Henry of Ayzha Fine Arts Milwaukee. When she returned to Milwaukee , she began political training to run for 16th district Wisconsin state assembly driven by the districts title the “Arts District”.While attending Milwaukee area technical college in 2011, she started an internship as a staff production assistant, working for Milwaukee public television. Brandy’s favorite assignment was an African-American inspired public television program called Black Nouveau. But often found discouragement at the television station, due to the lack of praise or support by her often burnt out senior-coworkers. Bond worked with Peter Frampton, Cindy Lauper, Nile Rodgers, Goo Goo Dolls, Carlos Santana, and various major-league baseball players. During a short internship in New York City in 2013, with public television’s Front and Center and newly created Speakeasy. Her career took off in the 2015 when she started to work for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Foundation in Chicago as a writer and photographer for their by weekly newsletter.

Bond’s eye for a timeless photograph established her as the go to photographer for various black empowerment groups, as she began to be flown all over the country at the cost of various activism groups. Some of her most famous pieces would be the photoshoot with 1000 years of Rastafarian leaders, The 91st Birthday of Dr. William Finlayson, and the proclamation of Dr. William Finlayson Day, the documentation of Michelle Obama visiting Milwaukee, WI as well as the “We Got This” charity tuxedo walk.Bond describes her photography travels as photo expeditions, the various locations for these expedition span to the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Atlanta, New Orleans, New York, Washington DC, South Carolina, Milwaukee, Chicago, and of course Baltimore. After photographing the protesters in Baltimore, one protester, later pepper sprayed by the Baltimore Police Department on CNN national television, ending the curfew. Bond realized how prophetic her work could be in hindsight.She impatiently awaits her first museum show, Bond barely gives the time of day to anyone telling her how slow of a process marketing an artist can be and insists that she will be showing in a museum in the very near future as well as the rest of her career, regardless of naysayers. After attending the Million Man March of 2015, Bond created her most inspired collection, that she calls “I’am A man” which documents the various fascist of the African-American male in America. And the rest will eventually become history.

About the Artist

 

Since I was a young child it’s been a desire of mine to take photographs, not just pretty pictures but breath taking moments in history that should never be forgotten, taking photos that allow me to tell a story. I hope that my work as a photographer communicates well with its viewers. I hope to create photos that invoke change, inspire rebellion and conversation, using models and composition to create mood. The mood will then create a narrative, so my viewers can inspire their imaginations and push the limits of change.My biggest influences are the civil rights leaders of the past. Nina Simone, Angela Davis, Rosa Parks Ida B. Wells as well as photographers of today like LaToya Fraser have all inspired me to believe my art has the ability to change the world. One of the biggest artistic influences in my life would be Steve Jobs most people wouldn’t think of him as an artist but if you truly study his life philosophy and accomplishments he was truly an artiste.My parents were never a source of support. They are the people who found my artistic ability mentally unstable. Their discouragement boosts my ambition. I feel like I can accomplish almost anything with no support.

The civil rights movement of the 1960s has the most influence in my photography and painting that I created in the last two years. The mood that I attempt to create in my photography is showing the “true self” of the subject and not just taking a photograph but a true to life documentation of life and history. I hope that people will be inspired by viewing my photography. I want my viewers to be able to say that my work is their biggest influence on their work.By viewing these photographs I hope that America will re-envision the civil rights movement, and re-imagine what it means to be a black man, woman or child in America an I’ll be able to create pieces that they can connect their own lives to. Being able to be proud of yourself is the main idea of my photographs. If my viewers are able to express themselves more after viewing my work, and feel pride in their hopes, dreams, and Heritage than I have achieved my goal.

DANA HENRY

Artist Statement

 Art has always been my secret passion, especially abstract art. Over the last year my passion went from an inner vision to an outer reality. I walked into an art store with my copies of research I got off the internet. After several hours of looking and gawking at the new world I had entered, I armed myself with my first canvas and numerous paints and supplies. I ran home to begin my first abstract painting. I now have close to 12 paintings and have exhibited twice. Painting fills me with a sense of accomplishment, a calmness I never knew before. It frees my imagination and provides for happy accident to influence my finished work. I’m now painting daily, varied pieces exploring innovative techniques, many textures and colors. 

DARLENE LA MAR

Artist Statement

 I ride the city bus where young black (brag) that they were just released from prison, as if it was their rite of passage to manhood. Young black women still “on paper” reveal their plans to do what they got to do to get over. Black teen girls throw their self-respect away, dressing and acting(like pop stars. Foul-mouth teenage boys want to fight with everyone and every female to them is a “B”. Departing the bus, I walk the inner city streets, sometimes through the midst of heated arguments, not knowing if someone has a weapon.I thought that art reflected the time in which we lived. Aren’t there more social issues, diseases, and slaves than ever before? At least that’s what I read. But focusing more on this region, why have we created art and jargon inaccessible to certain classes of people or fails to address the different ways of seeing? Or do those who we deem less fortunate need non black or non Hispanic artists putting up work dictating to them what they should have in their communities? Can this be doing more harm than good? In the schools where I have worked, little 3rdgrade black girls are openly communicating hatred for their image. They adamantly declare they want to be white because “white girls have long hair and they have and do everything.”I’m not saying that black art or Hispanic art should show brown or caramel skin images popping up everywhere or only deal with the negativity. Also I’m not saying not to embrace academia or European art. I loved living in Europe and absorbing their art culture so much that I became illegal. What I do see is a need to create an artistic path to deconstruct the psychological complexities to begin a dialogue for change in the community. I am not an established artist. Four months after 9/11, I was sent back to the states. I wasn’t focused on creating art in the states. For 7 years I only worked in children programs. But I now have a purpose, the passion and moral responsibility to create my art again. I love the idea of gorilla art. During the fellowship year, I want to try something different, create quick installations in the inner city. The residents can actively be a part, discuss issues and relay that experience in writing.By putting the expressionist viewpoint of “exploring the inner landscape of the soul” in my conceptual installations, I convey much more than any other medium that I use. I escape into a world where there are no rules to follow. I allow the space to dictate what it needs. I take the risk of content becoming more important than the aesthetics. I find that, because I share my personal life with installations, people share their personal lives with me. 

Artist Statement

 I’m a retired LPN. I started painting in the 1980’s. I found myself in the media. I had a stroke in the 1990’s.My children are the best supporters. They encourage me to go on with my art. I started to study but most of my info comes from Barnes & Nobles books. I like to work with my hands and art is very natural for me.