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Stefanie Jackson

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

My paintings are figurative and expressive narratives of love, loss, and tragedy. The Greek story of Orpheus reinterpreted in a Detroit setting with contemporary ghosts from my past enables me to explore the visual elements of a landscape that remains a paradise lost.
I have lost several close relatives to violence and I use them as characters in my paintings. The loss of my cousin and brother are reflected in Little Girl Blue and What’s Going On as Orpheus and Eurydice. I mention these because I felt a sense of affirmation when I read Edwidge Danticat’s thoughts on the creative process—“as though each piece of art was a stand-in for a life, a soul, a future.” I look back at many painting series about the people of Hurricane Katrina, Detroit, the Atlantic slave trade, etc. then realize that I am acknowledging and affirming their very existence in my paintings.

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