KEEF CROSS

“When I make art, it’s truly an escape. An escape from stereotypes and  expectations put on “black art” and it’s creators. It seems like most people are comfortable seeing black people portrayed walking to church, playing a jazz horn, braiding hair on the porch and things of that nature. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but that’s not all we are, and that’s not all we do. Similar to black cinema and radio, audiences have gotten used to and even anticipate these redundant one sided offerings of black life.

        Because I am black, I make black art by default, but there is something primitive and futuristic in my work., showing where I want our imaginations to go, but never forgetting where we’ve been. I don’t have a formula or plan when I create, and usually my pieces don’t reveal their meaning to me until they’re finished. Sometimes a piece can have no meaning at all, until a viewer sees it and gives me their perception, thus giving a piece new life to me.

        ” Growing up being influenced by Ralph Bakshi, Vaugn Bode’, Wendy Pini, and Robert Crumb to name a few, really shaped my visual aesthetic, and tone of my paintings, but even more so, my approach to creating my comic book, “DayBlack”. I found that those underground comics of the 70’s always had one foot in sexual raunchiness and drugs, and another foot in social commentary, a combination that fascinated me as a kid. Who knew that in those adult comics I hid from my mother, I would find my individual voice and style.

           A misconception of my work is that I’m pro black, and it’s true to an extent. I’m all about pushing progressive images and ideas about my people to the forefront whenever I get the chance. TV, radio, and film won’t do it, but I feel like art is the last medium that has been corrupted the least, and with the help of other like minded artists who aren’t afraid to challenge these notions of what black art is and can be , we can help change the way the world sees us, and the way we see ourselves, one gallery at a time.”

-KEEF CROSS

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