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Sonya Clark

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

I use the language of quotidian objects such as cloth, hair, and combs to give voice to the complexity of American identity and history. Simple objects become an interface for dialog that ranges from the vernacular to the political to the poetic. A juxtaposition of dialects, led to Black Hair Flag (2010), a response to Governor McDonnell’s decision to proclaim April Confederate History month in Virginia. The Afro Abe Series (2008-present) is a response Obama’s presidency in a political and economic context. Madam CJ Walker large (2008) is a monumental portrait of the icon of haircare, daughter of slaves, and self-made millionaire made with over 3000 unbreakable fine-toothed combs. My Hair Craft Project (2013-14) I engages Southern hairdressers to use my body as canvas to re-frame Black hairdressing as art. Hair Bows (2013), are re-haired with different textures of human hair and used to play two national anthems, the Star Spangle Banner and Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing.

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