Oil on Canvas


30″ x 40″

It is difficult to imagine a universal image of strength—an image that translates across all genders, cultures and races. But to me, this is that image. The figure in “Wings” is of a woman I met in Miami. She exuded strength and determination with every fiber of her being. The image shows her standing in front of what looks like it could be a mural of wings or symbolic wings surrounded by color and life. Her fiery mohawk makes her seem courageous, while her outfit gives the impression that “she don’t give a f*ck.” In the background of this image, I felt compelled to include imagery from the most inspiring moment in time, that I could remember—Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Martin Luther King’s speech is still as relevant today as it was in 1963. Subtly placed, if you look closely, you can see small bits of text like “Rise Up,” “We Cannot Walk Alone,” and “We Cannot Turn Back.” I also included a contemporary reference with text that reads “We Matter.”

The main component of this piece is that of her wings, although they are complex and slightly abstracted. We can see that they are constructed of marks and color, giving the impression that they can be made by anybody, for anybody. Her wings are made by her, from the dried blood of her ancestors and the fire within. These wings are a symbol of hope and strength, allowing her to go anywhere and be anyone, to soar high above others, giving her grace and freedom.