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Kimberly Heard

I want to investigate the black experience; to decipher the learned from the intuitive. African American history is a hodge-podge of French, Spanish, British, and African cultures, Yet somehow, I don’t belong to them. I often feel that I exist in a middle space; seen and unseen, known-of but never truly known.

I think of my work as a journaling process. In it, I ask questions, form theories, and make provocations. I have found that this works best through drawing or painting. There is a savagery I take with drawing, an unrelenting distortion of form and space. The figures are stretched to extremes and dynamic in gesture. Broken lines hover the figures in the balance of middle-ground, never truly allowing them to exist in the foreground. In drawing, I speak to areas of life that bring me the greatest degree of discomfort by including personal allegories and questions of existentialism, spirituality, sexuality. I pull from the deepest parts of myself and present them vulnerably on to paper. My most recent drawings are large scale graphite drawings on black paper, seemingly black on black, alluding to various tensions within the African diaspora.

My focus is not to define my identity but rather to use each work as a visual journal of the internal challenges that are involved in coming to know myself; I hide, I conform, I revolt, I terror, I die and I live anew.

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To Commune with Angels
Kimberly Heard
Sharpie on Illustration Board
30 x 40 in