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Artist ID: 2425

In my recent body of work, I explore the interplay between memory, culture, and particular symbolic representations of African American identity. I initially use pieces of figures as an exploration and way of deconstructing and reconstructing the body and its history. Growing up as a dark-skinned girl, I was not always accepted because of the shade of my skin, forcing me to pretend to be someone who I was not. I felt trapped in this world where dark skin was undesirable. I can remember crying when people would tell me, "Oh, you’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl.”, My work allows me to question and deal with loaded questions involving race, gender, identity, sex, and other social and political dilemmas, like my concerns with ecological extinction and the history of how people of color have been treated in my native state of Alabama.
Creating these works helps me change the narrative that I have unobjectively conformed to without realizing how they were defining me. Colorism is a form of racism within and without the black community. I am creating pieces that combine an interest in eco-poetical abstraction with very naturalistic empirical observations to open up a space for me to talk about my own introspection and how the current art world seems more obsessed with black spectacle, and less with black introspection or feelings, and how black woman might create an identity through art.

LaKesha Lee was born in Birmingham, AL, and currently resides there. She recently received her BFA from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is an artist that creates narratives about the history of African Americans, death, and her autobiographical struggle to connect with nature. She hopes that her work will help inspire others to unbox their past.

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