Here’s what painter Amy Sherald has always known about herself: She was born to be an artist.
In a new conversation with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete, Sherald says that she was born to bear witness to Black life, with painting becoming a “corrective” to the struggle story that’s often the only one told about Black communities.
Portraiture, for me, is having the opportunity to tell a story, to tell my story, to tell our story (as Black people), to have the portrait work in ways that are creating a counter-narrative, a corrective narrative, but then also a narrative that can carry us into our future selves. They have the capacity to be mirrors for today and also vessels to look through to see into the future.
Sherald discusses her early desire to work with her hands, why she prefers removing context and instead painting solid backgrounds, and how her practice offers a place of rest and hope in a heartbreaking world.
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