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Painting: Spray Paint on Canvas.
In order to eliminate the stigma of mental illness in the Black community, I created a pun on the familiar brand name Prozac to make it more suitable for the Black community. African-Americans are 25% more likely to experience mental health issues than their white counterparts but only 20% of them are likely to seek treatment.
I chose spray paint stencils because they are confrontational in nature and hard to look away from; and thus, the subject matter must be equally unflinching. I grab elements from pop culture, own photography, magazine collages, layer them in Photoshop, print them, and hand-cut them until my wrist gets sore. The act of hand-cutting is both meditative and progressive: the more cuts I perform, the more precise they become.
Through the alias Rywando Jones (how I sign my work), I explore these social commentaries, in particular the stigma of mental health especially as it pertains to African-American communities, which merits discussion based on recent racial tensions in the country. To examine Black mental health is to examine the effect of events in both the past and present, how patterns of suffering repeat themselves, and the burden of certain societal expectations.
Handpicked to show at The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art in Dallas