Paint Chips

Collage and Assemblage on Canvas, Series 2016

Paint Chips I, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2016

Paint Chips I, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2016

Paint Chips, II , Mixed Media on Canvas, 2016

Paint Chips, II, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2016

Paint Chips I & II,  Mixed Media on Canvas, 2016

Paint Chips I & II, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2016

Paint chips, the free paint samples found in hardware, paint and home improvement stores.  Typically used to guide the color selection process for those who have the luxury to plan for the expense of wall coloring.  I interpret the paint chips as symbol of American culture, the mentality of the middle class and above. Within this narrative they represent choices, liberties, rights, and a level of treatment that are not afforded to everyone. 

These works are meant to represent a microscopic view of the macrocosm issue of ramped racism and its impact and trauma on African American and people of Color. 

It juxtaposes, via various social media text messages, posts and other symbology, the experiences of Black Americans— the negative words, brutality of the black body, biased news casting and everything that’s encompasses the cumbersome pro-white-good against the con-black-bad propaganda. All of the elements of these artworks—paint chips, images, drawings, and commentary— play on each other to create a compressed glimpse of our multi-dimensional realities,  personal, and societal patterns of thought and behavior.  In both works the overlay of paper silvers of self represents the daily struggle to remain divine, to master our own energy and keep moving forward. 

I hope to challenge the viewer to own his or her personal patterns –of thought, daily practice, self-knowledge and treatment of others– and to possibly experience the healing properties of art. 

Paint Chips I, and II , Mixed Media on Canvas, 2016

So, the Spirit of my great grandmother, Camelita, in her raspy voice insists that I must first speak on the general and literal meaning of the word space as is relates to womanhood.

Space is defined as...a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied. Or the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move. Within this world, space, a placement for women is not free, whether it is physically available and or occupied. 

Throughout my career, I have been the only women artist in a room full of men, or in an exhibition, the only person of African, African, American or person of color in a boardroom, committee meeting, museum and or gallery. I’ve have felt the price of claiming space that others may not have intended for this brown girl.-- I see this conversation regarding space and materiality directly linked to being a woman of color, African, Caribbean and Puerto Rican descent. I have had to cultivate, occupy, even demand space within this industry and its supporting spheres of administrators, supporters, collectors, entities and influencers. Making whomever aware of my existence, my narrative and the value my materials, namely fabric and found materials. That said, I hold the use of space and materials as essential scared attributes and tools within my artistic practice.  

@kohlgallery at Washington College kicks off the 2018-19 academic year with a solo exhibit titled Material-isms: the cultivation of womanhood and agency through materiality, featuring Washington, D.C.-based mixed-media artist Amber Robles-Gordon.