In the Galleries

vanessa german

vanessa german, Black Girl on Skateboard Going Where She’s Got to Go to Do What She’s Got to Do and It Might Not Have Anything to Do With You, Ever, 2022. Lemony things: vintage French beaded flowers, a yellow skateboard like I never had when i was a fat little Black girl in Los Angeles when riding a skateboard meant that you could fly, Capidomonte Ceramic Lemon Center piece, a dance in my thighs, high yellow so-flat paint, porcelain bird figurines, decorative resin lemons, papery yellow flowers, meanness transmuted, love, oil paint stick, rage, self-loathing transmuted, a joy-bitch, masturbation, plaster, wood glue, black pigment, giddiness, freedom in the body, freedom in the Soul, wood, tar, wire, a distinct and purposeful healing, hope, yellow flood light, heart, yellow decorative ceramic magnolia figurine, acceptance, abandon, not being afraid to be full of your own self in your own divine body, divinity, fear transmuted, plaster gauze, magic, silicone, tears, epoxy, water, tomorrow, now, yes. 48 x 22 x 26 in. Courtesy of Art Bridges.

vanessa german
January 12, 2023 - December 31, 2024

Tom Lea Gallery - Contemporary Art

Black Girl on Skateboard… provides a meditation on the color yellow through physical objects and the written word. vanessa german, a self-taught ‘citizen’ artist, often crafts these, which she refers to as power figures, out of discarded materials from her local community. german’s power figures serve as protectors for Black people against violence. Drawing from Congolese Nkisi sculptures and elements of folk art, the works defy figurative expectations and emphasize their vibrancy through emotion and energy.

The 2022 iterations of german’s power figures include poetry written by the artist as the object’s materials list. In this decision to disrupt typical object information, german’s Black Girl on Skateboard… bridges materiality and abstraction. The artist describes the resonance of her power figures as, “active technologies of the soul that touch the vast history that exists in the spiral of our DNA.”

Courtesy of Art Bridges

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