Jordan Casteel

Artist's Website

Through figurative painting I desire to bring to light that which is often unseen. My current work is an exploration of black masculinity and my relationship to it as a black woman. Using bold color and thick gestural paint, I can interpret my experience of what it means to be a black man today. In order to bring the subjects home, the domestic environment becomes their stage. These men, often in repose or relaxed, are surrounded by evidence of themselves: books, clothing, furnishing — waiting to meet their eyes with the viewer's. Although the portraits are of “black” subjects, I use the larger chromatic scale to question how the notion of color relates to the black body. In the wake of such public continued violence against black men, it is more important than ever to contribute a vision of blackness that shows the complexities of black men instead of reducing them. These paintings address the broader scope of the human experience. Whether it is a solo figure demanding intimate attention, or multiple figures leading us to ask who they are in relation to each other — each subject is asking to be seen through an empathetic lens.