As I continue to spotlight urban artists in understanding how they are surviving or thriving during this pandemic, I was encouraged by a colleague to meet Ricardo Roig. I was intrigued by Ricardo’s imaginative artistry and that he lives and works in Hoboken, NJ where he combines the best of what Japanese woodblock printing offers with his innovative paper cutting chops channeling a younger Henri Matisse…..
On my Facebook feed, I recently came across the work of an emerging artist named Armisey Smith who has taken on a uniquely challenging COVID inspired art project and to my delight accepted to be part of my blog’s Spotlight Artists Series #2. When I first came across Armisey’s recent COVID inspíred series entitled “ Side Eye, Pink Eye,” I was intrigued, and immediately connected emotionally with the pain that she was able to dramatize in the faces of these women….
Surviving a pandemic has been different for everyone. For many, it has been devastating, having lost a loved one, a job, or bankrupting a once-thriving business. For others, it’s been an inconvenience, a readjustment, or in some cases, an opportunity. In a paralyzed Art World, it pains me to see what is happening to all forms of art and the impact that this will have on young people. I often wonder how artists of color are surviving in what is an environment of steep privilege and limited opportunities.
In a paralyzed Art World, it pains me to see what is happening to all forms of Art and the impact that this will have on young people. I often wonder how artists of color are surviving in what is an environment of steep privilege and limited opportunities. How do these tumultuous times impact their ability to create while paying their bills and protecting themselves and their families? As minority artists, how are they dealing with the racial divide, COVID, and the declining economy, and how does this get interpreted in their creativeness?
For the remainder of this year, I committed to interviewing four emerging minority artists primarily from urban centers in New Jersey to be able to learn and share their stories on what surviving, or thriving is like for each of them and how these uncertain times has influenced their artistry.