authenticity (2 CHAINZ), 2022, Digital Illustration, Pastel, and Colored Pencil on Inkjet Print
André Ramos-Woodard - BLACK SNAFU
November 3rd, 2023 - January 24th, 2024
Anti-Blackness seems inescapably mixed into whatever context I search through; photography, science, government, art... look into any “field” and see for yourself. My people have had to cry, scream, and fight for respect for centuries, and we still have not gained what we rightfully deserve. To move past the damage this has been done to our society, we can’t simply deny our history—we must recognize it. We must acknowledge the many ways in which this country has perpetuated a racial hierarchy since these lands were first colonized and stripped from indigenous peoples by white supremacists, and Black people were stolen from their native land and brought to America by those very same people.
In BLACK SNAFU (Situation Niggas: All Fucked Up), I use my camera as a tool to accentuate the realities of my Black experience, turning the lens on my proudly Black body, my family, found objects, and the places I inhabit. These photographs are then juxtaposed with appropriated hand-drawn depictions of Black people that I've found throughout the history of cartooning. The fact that the images are made by my hands allows me to fight back against the historically racist caricatures that I steal; reclaiming them in my pieces to depict Blackness authentically. 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.