I love the way Shaina McCoy applies layers upon layers of oil paint in her portraits. Using her brushes as sculpting tools, the Minneapolis-based artist uses bold textures and featureless faces to evoke a sense of memory and nostalgia. And it's no wonder as nearly all of her paintings are based on old photographs from her family album. Over the years, she has moved from painting on small canvases to large scale formats, which makes her Impressionist-like work even more powerful and compelling.
Christa David is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates art in a multitude of mediums. I especially admire her collages, inspired by the complicated history of racism and her own experience as a Black woman living in America.
I've featured Kenesha's work in the past and it's always a pleasure to witness her wide range of art evolve. After spending years as a motion graphics designer and art director, Kenesha Sneed discovered her true passion after taking a local ceramics class in Los Angeles. Her desire to create functional ceramic pieces that reflect her love of illustration and her California roots was the impetus for her brand Tactile Matter. However, I especially love her paintings of women - each so self-confident and empowering.
Calida Garcia Rawles
You might recognize Calida Garcia Rawles' work as it was featured on the jacket of Ta-Nehisi Coates' 2019 novel The Water Dancer. Her hyperrealistic portraits of Black bodies in water celebrate the power of individual strength and serenity during a time of racial and political uncertainty. The water represents raging power while her subjects remain calm and at peace. Her work is just stunning and resonates with what we're experience in America today.
After spending a decade as a fashion stylist, Haitian New York-based artist Delphine Desane picked up painting during her maternity leave. Becoming a mother had such an intense physical and emotional impact on her that she really never turned back from painting. Her portraits draw from her own experiences around motherhood and living in America as a black woman. Delphine's work was recently featured on the cover of Vogue Italia and was one of seven artists to paint a cover and fashion editorial for their January 2020 issue where, in a rare moment, the magazine swapped out models for illustrations.
I can't get enough of Atlanta-based artist Braylen Dion's photographs. The young filmmaker and photographer started taking photos at twelve years old. Her portraits are captivating and embody a real rawness yet softness to them. I'm excited to follow along on her career and witness her unbridled future in photography. Honestly, wow.