Thursday, December 24

PAINTING ::: Inner Struggles of Self

Original 16x20" Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

by Martha A. Wade
Founder, Custom Canvas Art Gallery

I painted INNER STRUGGLES OF SELF during my first Art History class at the University of Michigan in 1998. Throughout the course, we discussed the significance of race in art and media. The discussions often made me think about my own background, and how my mixed-race background shapes my artwork. I didn't want to be categorized as "black art" or "main stream art" or feel limited to paint certain kinds of people. I always enjoyed living the best of both worlds, between the black and white family and friends. I don't want to choose to be one or the other, black or white.

I went home that afternoon and began painting feverishly, and didn't stop until I had created this painting. At the time, I didn't know what to call it or how to explain it. I suppose years of reflection have given me the knowledge to see myself more clearly through my work.

This painting is a representation of those inner struggles that occur within me when I think about being black or white. I painted the person in the middle in Grey, to symbolize the combination of both, and the colorful forces in the world and within us that try and influence our minds. From the people who tell me I am not black enough, or want to feel my hair, to those who come up to me speaking Spanish because they assume I am too - I accept them all.

I no longer get offended at the questions about my color and race - I use it as an opportunity to educate and remind them that I am a person first. I believe people are many things, and above all we are all ARTISTS who merely needs to be encouraged to come out and CREATE!

Read what My Daily Art Blog said about the artist, Martha Wade and her painting.

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