I am most attracted to the delicacy of the pose against the solid deep black background contrasted with the vibrant, dynamic patterns that color the subject’s body. It is both stimulating and complex, while also inviting vulnerability and quietness. The subtle hints of body parts untouched––a hand, a foot, a breast––reveal the humanness, present underneath all of this tension and complexity.
I could spend hours analyzing each background layer. To understand the redactions and attempt to envision the image when it was whole and complete. The formal structure that it once represented. But I am immediately drawn to and subdued by the simple foreground markings that dominant the picture. And I am soothed by the practical and utilitarian nature of the materials––thread and muslin.
David Shrobe is a visual storyteller. I wonder what journey each element of this collage has taken to land connected within this single portrait. Who was the figure before? How will the figure be transformed? And what new story will now be told?
I love how the grandness of these women rival the vastness and grandness of the desert. They embody strength and are woven into the land. Their beauty accentuated with the glimmer of simple yet striking iridescent rings and bracelets.
Afro Blue (Erykah Badu), 2019
Addis Fine Art
I am fascinated by the poetic layering of this piece. The deep blue background and iridescent brown strips become this particular lyric manifest: “shades of delight cocoa hue. Rich as the night afro blue.” – Erykah Badu