BADU-ISM / 20 YEARS OF PAINT Culture Portrait | Back Story + Symbolism
A tribute to Erykah Badu
THE BACK STORY
Erykah Badu was my absolute favorite music artist. I was a freshman in college in New York City. I was bright eyed and open to life!
I laid down the first layer of this painting in 1997 (above) as my visual response to a painting class assignment. It was not called a Culture Portrait then; (that wouldn't happen for another 20 years) but there were the sparkles of something special there. Tribal lines on her body, the swirling figures in the background, cheap paint.
Then for almost 17 years, this painting traveled back to Philadelphia and lived in a closet. It wasn't until 2015 that I started pulling her out and painting on her. An hour or two here; a half-a-day there...
Then for 17 years, this painting lived in a closet. It wasn't until 2015 that she was pulled out and worked on. An hour or two here; a half-a-day there... by 2017 something special started happening. The end product... "Badu-ism/ 20 Years of Paint"