Galerie Myrtis

Tawny Chatmon Remnants/ I Was Born to Stand in the Light

Monica Ikegwu Devin

Megan Lewis Appreciate the Goodness when it Arrives

About the Artist

In the Remnants series, I have applied relics of my past painted works, cut into tiny pieces, to construct garments representing multiple significances. First, an honoring of our ancestors and those before us that passed down their cherished belongings and teachings as a means of survival. Second, an acknowledgment that we can break free of past beliefs, customs, and traumas that do not serve us. Last, how we must look to deconstruct systems of the past to assist us in reconstructing a more promising future. Tawny Chatmon
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The primary focus of my work is African American youth and current fashion trends as a form of celebrating the Black aesthetic and self-identity. I strive to capture the essence of my subjects through photo-realistic portraits. Applying oil to canvas, I enhance the figure by rendering dramatic textured backgrounds with hues complementing their clothing and flesh tones.

Black youth are often judged negatively by their appearance; an afro, braids, barbershop cut, tattoo, hoodie, and other traditional dress styles place them in the immediate threat zone. When people outside of the Black community observe my paintings, I want them to try and imagine who the individual is while placing all preconceived notions and stereotypes aside. And when encountering Black youth, I hope they will consider, as when viewing the subject in my work, that the individual’s outward appearance is a positive form of self-expression. For African Americans viewing my paintings, I want them to feel a sense of connectivity and pride—and discover a familiar face within, one that reminds them of themselves, a friend, or a family member.

Monica Ikegwu
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Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Myrtis
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