September 3 - October 2, 2021 Nigrescence Comics Kenish Magwood
As a Black woman in America, I am in a constant state of double consciousness. Daily I feel every ion of being Black, female and American. My aesthetic highlights, bold, vibrant, and stylistic, controversial pieces. The intent is to debunk stereotypes, highlight civic and societal issues and combat injustice and bigotry. My chosen medium is oil paints and my scales have always been relatively large.
A lover of comics, the juxtaposition of cartooning paralleled to deep-rooted and controversial issues is meant to draw viewers in, all while vexing them to discuss the content. Every piece is intentional and saturated with symbolism. The work created in the style of comic book covers have titles that vary but there are consistent in their symbolism. The comic “brand” is depicted as Nigrescence Comics (a homage to psychologist, Dr. William E. Cross Jr. and his study on the 5 stages of Black Identity Theory) The volume depicts how many years it has been since the ending of slavery on Juneteenth (June 19th, 1865). The edition number also varies in symbolism based on the piece. My larger, adjoining pieces, coincide with certain comic book cover works and are meant to further illustrate more subject matter what one might find inside of that work.
The Nigrescence Comics Series depicts work that falls under each of the 5 stages of Cross’s Black Identity Theory coined by the French term, Nigrescence: Stage 1-Pre-encounter, Stage 2- Encounter, Stage 3- Immersion/Emersion, Stage 4- Internalization, Stage 5- Internalization-Commitment. With this, the premise of my work is to ignite open conversation, understand the vantage point of others, understand an individual’s “stage,” and prompt self-reflection for all.
Artist Bio: Bio Kenish Magwood is an ambivert who prefers her art to speak for her (though she has no problem speaking for herself). A little quirky, she aims to address identity, diversity, and controversy with vibrant artistry and open-dialogue. Kenish strives to use the many gifts God has given her to promote change, initiate conversation, and ultimately, to please Him. She was born in Stuttgart, Germany to military parents. She is the youngest of three and grew up in her hometown of Charleston, SC. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC) and an MFA in Fine Art from Howard University (Washington, DC). She’s spent many years as an art educator, spending half of her career teaching middle and high school art in Hollywood, SC and the other half teaching as a full time professor at a prominent HBCU in Baltimore, MD. She currently lives back in Charleston, SC where she continues to expand her artwork. An emerging artist, Kenish has exhibited across the country, from California to New York. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, video games, pole fitness, reading & audio books, writing, making comics and relaxing with her loved ones.
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