Oil on canvas, 72” x 48”
Artist's Statement: The Hero Within
As humans we share so many similarities but we are also uniquely designed individuals. The elements that make up our entity are not copied or duplicated. So why is it, some individuals take it upon themselves to label and place unwilling participants in a box? Why is it, if we don’t fit the mold we were sculpted for we are outcast? Why is it easier to gather, then to stand-alone? I’d prefer to stand-alone!
To be honest I haven’t always thought this way. There was once a time when I conformed and followed the pack; but I soon realized I was constricting my soul from illuminating who I was. My art encourages those who have dimmed their lights to reignite. I want to inspire individuals from the streets of Detroit to beaches in Sydney Australia. There’s nothing wrong with being your individually unique super-self. You are elegant, important, sophisticated and indomitable. My subjects are mainly people of color but I feel the message goes beyond race, nationality and gender. We all struggle at some point to dauntingly self-seek and to uphold ourselves with respect and dignity.
My figures are selected from a variety of places; I work mainly with fashion photography from magazines like Vogue or from other fashion websites. I choose working black models in the industry today, and exaggerate or blend features with other models and family members.
My art seeks to inspire and disrupt. My figures are adorned with piercing white eyes. This idea stems from the supernatural, in which I feel complements the aforementioned. My influence comes from two places; one being Storm from the marvel comics, and the other derives from NBC’s television show called Heroes. I always found it interesting that when the characters who had the precognition ability, were artist. While they were painting their eyes turned white.
As an artist I couldn’t help but to find this idea fascinating. When I’m engulfed in my work it is as if something else takes over, like as if God and I connect on some grandiose spiritual level with every brush stroke. In my eyes I’m painting the future of those children and young adults who haven’t seen their purpose, and don’t know their worth, my job is to simply serve as a reminder of how grand they really are. I hope to encourage the viewer to accept their abilities and move through this world projecting their light in the darkest crevices. Discrediting what society and the media may place on them and rejecting the mold that was meant to confine them.
This body of work is dedicated to my loved ones, my beautiful mother Vestra Jolly, my aunt Pandora, all my siblings, nieces, nephew and my superhero in heaven my father Moses Jolly Jr.
© Ashley Jolly