Visual Artist: Paintings - Visual Artist: Photography
About the artist: Houston artist, Vonetta Berry Jenkins graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999, and has never looked back. Ms. Jenkins is a body artist and illustrator interested in pushing bodyart expressiveness, and she currently focuses her studio practice on body art and has completed two photographic series showing the oneness of mankind.
Angelic Backs is a series, which challenges traditional angelic depictions as white and female and puts them on the backs of black men. She decided on the canvas of black men because of the mediaâ€™s demonization of black men. She chose to bring black men BACK to angelic glory by utilizing their backs as canvas for her controversial angelic paints, which often depict angels in non-traditional scenes and poses.
Itâ€™s Not a Race is a photographic series through which Vonetta has used various bodyart techniques ask, â€˜What is Race?â€™ Genetically humans are more alike than different. What divides people are just perceptions. In this piece Vonetta has used bodyart makeup and wigs to transform one model, into many races. It is sometime difficult to tell which is the truest representation of her. Itâ€™s Not a Race is designed to engage the viewer, to re-evaluate what perceptions they have held to be true.
With the benefit of this grant, Vonetta plans to expand her project base to include two more photographic seriesâ€”The Wings of a Bird and We Are Oneâ€”to further speak to the unity of the human condition.
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