“I understand blackness from the inside out. What my goal is, is to allow the world to see the humanity that I know personally to be the truth.” – Kehinde Wiley
Racial supremacy has been buried in American history and is still prevalent to this day. 1619 Jamestown Colony is the origin of America’s patriarchy of white supremacy, discrimination, and racism. Fear and generational trauma have been pervasive in Black culture since 1619. For centuries, Black people have been degraded from slavery, racist imagery, and stereotypes to continued police brutality.
Representation does matter. The representation of Black people has been unsettling, humiliating, and completely inaccurate. Imagery is something that the human experience relies on. It helps a person associate the imagery with themselves and their experiences. Humiliating imagery is used to further dehumanize races that are socially oppressed. In particular, Blacks are seen as aggressors, products of poverty, and are deemed lesser than. Blacks are not seen as historical and modern authorial and powerful figures. Caricatures like black face, golliwangs, and other offensive stereotypical imagery have influenced society’s dehumanizing view of the Black people.
I want to break these stereotypical boundaries that restrict the growth and self-love of Black people. My objective is to rewrite the stories of Black people through my work. My work explores the complexity and duality of being a person of color while reflecting on humanity within Blackness. Through visual vocabulary, a smile is incorporated in the majority of my paintings. A smile is used to manifest a person in their truest and purest form. The juxtaposition of figure and background, speaks to the fluidity of being Black through the medium of poured paint. The poured paint depicts the different cultures that are often overlooked, by simply labeling all Black people as African Americans. Many of my portraits are based on photographs taken of my friends, people I admire, and of other artists. This connection that I have with my models is important to capturing the essence of a person. This is how I view the world and Black people. I take a softer approach to how I see Black people while still reflecting on my own experiences.
I do not see us as aggressive, lazy, thugs, ugly, that society has labeled us to be, but as hue-man beings with feelings, ideas, goals, and families.
About the Artist
Ke’Chanbria Ball is an artist that works and resides in Georgia. Throughout Ke’Chanbria Ball’s work, she explores themes of race, culture, and the denotations of color. She works primarily on large-scale portraiture with mediums of oil and acrylic paints. In a Realist style, Ke’Chanbria depicts humanizing mechanisms of the African American.
She received her Bachelor of Fine Art in painting and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgia Southwestern State University in the fall of 2020. Her work has been exhibited virtually, locally, and internationally in Georgia and China. She is currently the visual arts teacher at Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Arts.
Browse all of the artwork from the exhibition by scrolling through the gallery below. Artwork may be available for purchase, contact the Arts Council for more information.