Andre Ramos-Woodard

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Artist Statement

“We can only understand the role of African Americans in the perpetuation of racist stereotypes in film and television in light of our

country’s history of race relations.” – Jennifer Bloomquist, The Minstrel Legacy, 2015

 

BLACK SNAFU (Situation Niggas: All Fucked Up)

 

I’ve been told plenty of times that in order to understand the present, I’ve got to know the history. I find

that funny as a Black person born and raised in America. It’s not that I disagree, it’s just that I know that

my history on this land—Black history—has been distorted and fucked-up to perpetuate the racist

repercussions of European colonialism and white privilege in this godforsaken country.

Anti-Blackness at the hands of racist America seems inescapable no matter what context I place it into;

literature, science, government, health, art... look into any “field” and see for yourself. My people have

had to cry, scream, and fight for respect throughout all these fields of study for centuries, and we still

haven’t gained the respect we deserve. Even in the visual arts, the field I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to,

the history of racism against Black people runs rampant. To move on from this shit, we must acknowledge

the many ways that this country has implemented a racial hierarchy since these lands were first colonized

and stripped from indigenous peoples, and Black people were stolen from their native land and brought

here.

BLACK SNAFU (Situation Niggas: All Fucked Up), gets its name from “Private Snafu”, a series of cartoon

shorts made in the 1940s by Warner Bros. in the hopes of educating American WWII soldiers about

military and warfare tactics. In BLACK SNAFU, I appropriate various depictions of Black people that I find

throughout the history of American cartooning and beyond—from the 20th century racist characters in

Don Raye’s “Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat” to more contemporary, uplifting, and pro-Black

characters like Huey and Riley Freeman from Aaron McGruder’s “The Boondocks”—and juxtapose them

with photographs that line up more authentically with a (my) Black experience. These photographs are

made by my hand and come from my camera, allowing me to fight back against the historical racist tropes

I reference with my own authentic Blackness. By combining these ambivalent visual languages, I intend

to expose to viewers America’s deplorable connection to anti-Black tropes through pop culture while

simultaneously celebrating the reality of what it means to be Black.

Download Artist C.V.

BLACK SNAFU (Situation Niggas: All Fucked Up)

Limited Edition Prints Available