14 Black Artists on Life in America Right Now
The Artist Statements project is an ever-evolving creative tribute to the agonies and the ecstasies of Black American life—from police brutality and civil rights activism to the close bonds of community. At a powerful moment of reckoning both across the country and around the world, it serves as a living document, regularly reflecting poignant new imagery and texts from leading Black contemporary artists.
Words from Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower: “Prodigy is, at its essence, adaptability and persistent, positive obsession. Without persistence, what remains is an enthusiasm of the moment. Without adaptability, what remains may be channeled into destructive fanaticism. Without positive obsession, there is nothing at all.”
Clarity may not be the destination; perhaps the only constant is to exist amongst duality. Moving throughout calm chaos. Screams next to laughter, caressing in dark fleshy places and eyes massaged by natural light. A space of learning and unlearning, leaping and catching my breath, being held, and being pushed.
Titles by the artist in conversation with herself over the past few years:
Stepping out to step in
Step into me Theresa (guidance from her smile and a scrotum flower)
Tearing me apart, so much that I become beautiful (woman exploring a smile)
Running in Place and Sometimes Walking: at Times I Feel Loved and Paralyzed
Come as You are
Your Mother is a Woman That Moves Swiftly. Her Daughter Has to Keep Moving. The Beast is Behind me and Another is Always Approaching
Holding onto a Smile (Woman Exploring a Smile)
You Always Show Me More
She watches you the way she needs to while I figure out my way (woman grasping a leg and a scrotum flower)
Prepared (She’s With Me)
Changing my Stride
One Step and I Shall Form Again (Trust Your Movement)
Where Will the Pieces Land? (Reaching for a Scrotum Flower)
Stepping toward my darkest bits to hear a familiar song. The words have changed, but the melody caresses me all the same (woman lead by her intuition, supported by scrotum flowers)

Theresa Chromati

August 12, 2020