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A piece of art needs to connect. It needs to have some element of truth to it that resonates with the viewer and leaves them something after they’ve left the piece. A good piece asks questions and teaches you something you didn’t know or shows you something you didn’t know you knew. It articulates something we’ve felt, and we connect to that thing in a way where words aren’t necessary. It's a feeling that's hard to describe but makes us feel less alone in a way—that someone else understands us and gives a voice to this thing inside us. A piece of art extends beyond its frame and becomes part of us.
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Art Exhibition- Atman: The Caribbean Lion
675 Ali Baba Avenue
Opa-locka, FL 33054
Exhibition Dates, Nov. 9th, 2017 to Jan. 30 2018
What does black identity mean to the many black voices of today? After an extensive history of struggle, subjugation, and liberation, how does a multitude of diverse communities with African heritage identify with their idea of the black ego? And most importantly, how does black identity relate to the spiritual self of true consciousness, that is within each and every one of us? With these essential questions in mind, artist Derrick Grant, Contemporary African Diaspora Art, and the Opa-Locka Community Development Center provided the experience of Atman: The Caribbean Lion.
Because of many years of enforced repression, black character has come to express itself in many different ways, of which a few are explored in this show. Following a narrative that spans from the first prisoners of the Slave Ship, to the protesters of Ferguson, each work aims to identify different ways the African body has been portrayed by both the oppressors and the oppressed, depicting different ways the black ego appears in Western History. For the child bride, her ego was connected to the homeland from which she was abducted by the slave owner. For the loving mother, her ego was connected to the slanderous name of “Mammy,” silencing her own voice. For the Rastaman, his ego is connected to his personal relationship with his God and his spiritual world, dreaming to find his homeland, a place where he finally belongs. For the Black Lives Matter Protester, their egos are connected to the symbol of innocent hands suspended in the air, facing the fear of police violence. Each of these separate identities are a part of the true black self within, the Atman, which connects every one of us with our spiritual selves, and it is our attempt to peel back the outer layers of ego to discover the roaring call of the Caribbean Lion that is within.
Art Exhibition- EARTHDAY: EMPTYING THE EARTH
Exhibition Date, OCT. 2017
Empty the World, Draining the Earth through Greed, and Enhanced Water Flow are paintings about the destruction that we are doing to our planet. These paintings are a commentary on what will happen to our planet if we drain it of its nutrients. Humans have relied on earth resources for ever, over the past 2000 years we have done more harm than ever before, causing irreversible damage. In order to continue surviving as a species, we have to look at our planet the way it really is. These paintings are an everyday reminder of what the planet actually looks like, and why it's our job to fix it. If we don’t fix our planet, then we have no place to live. We have designed shirts to go with each art-piece.
Art Exhibition- 2013-15 PERSONAL SHOWS
Exhibition Dates: Nov., 2013 to 2015
Over the centuries, painting has attempted to capture life on
a two dimensional surface in an effort to construct a mirror
that reflects composite structures in our world. The resulting
art work we create is therefore integrally linked to the perception
of our physical world and static. Art pieces that are created purely from visual imaginings result in an artistic virtual stream directly from our subconscious thoughts and emotions. The capture of these streams unto different forms of media by design produces an individual’s unique perception of reality that is flavored with imagination and fantasy.
However, often the things we take for granted, as physically concrete and perpetually constant (or even transitionally remaining immutable) in our world, are persistently moving and evolving; as does a winding river through a grassy valley delta. It is this consistent unpredictability and fluctuating change in what we see, feel, hear or touch every day that is often forgotten in artwork on canvas.
This art show, comprised by this group of art pieces, attempts to represent this additional dynamic dimension of our reality that is often ignored. Here I have challenged myself to explore
the idea of our reality as being transitory and flowing like the
forces of energy that are perpetually swirling around and with us. It is these waves of energy that are observed in each piece suggesting the mutable nature of what we see. These are the results of dreams, that I have personally experienced that now flow onto the computer screen and then on the canvas.
FAVORITE ART PIECES
Fully in the realm of meditation, the person has lost his being and his ego, and has given himself completely to the world of full consciousness and actual reality. Deep in the meditative state, his body loses its physicality, and has melded with the rest of the world, showing the true state of being one with the universe. In the distance, he sees an all seeing eye, like a deep center of the conscious state, and he reaches towards it, seeing it transform before him from an eye to an atom, a symbol of his reaching the basic core of matter itself and the composition of everything. From his meditation, he discovers he has become one with matter, and matter has become one with him.
This piece recreates the state of dance through the visual use of colors, which are brightly spattered onto the canvas, giving a feeling of the glows pulsating to the beat of the music. In the center, two figures are caught in the throes of their own dances, almost translucent as they move so fast, one can only catch the colorful glimpses of light of their silhouettes. One dances with her arms up, caught in a state of ecstasy in the music, while the other lays on his knees in adoration, giving himself over to the hypnotic trances of the rhythm.
ANGEL OF THE MATRIX
COPYRIGHT DERRICK GRANT 2018