Sharing A Beautiful Artist

(The following article is from thisiscolossal.com a wonderful site of all things to do with art)

In The Redemption, photography-based artist Tawny Chatmon celebrates the beauty of Black hair through a series of arresting portraits superimposed with 24 karat gold flourishes. Each photograph features a solemn child who’s dressed in hand-painted ornate, gilt garments that are inspired by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s Golden Phase. “These portraits are meant to act as a counter-narrative and redemptive measure to uplift and elevate Black hair, tradition, and culture freeing us from negative stereotypes,” Chatmon says in a statement. “An intent, not to be confused with seeking validation, but rather an unyielding affirmation of Black beauty.”

By evoking Klimt, the Maryland-based artist hopes to elicit similar feelings as when considering some of the painter’s pieces like “The Kiss,” for example. “I remember being drawn to the details, the poses, of course, the gold, and the grace,” she says of her initial reaction to his pieces. The ornamental additions immediately signal beauty, which has many different meanings for Chatmon.

Beauty is every child in these portraits. Beauty is individuality and nonconformity. Beauty is something that you saw, that you can’t stop thinking about because it made such a good impression on you. Beauty is the way I felt when I got to hold each of my babies after giving birth to them. Beauty is motherhood. Beauty is when my 15-year-old son makes it a point to hug me every night and tells me he loves me. Beauty is goodness. Beauty is knowing you’re beautiful even in a world hellbent on making you think otherwise.

To explore more of the artist’s layered photographs that consider both personal and cultural conceptions of allure, grace, and strength, head to her site and Instagram.

Odd Creature

stegosaurus

An eccentric young woman

descends polished wooden stairs

in stockings, with light, bouncy steps

full of energy.

 

A vision of distinct individuality,

her presence dares adults to defy mediocre lives.

Disconnect from adolescent bravado

emerges among those present

with each exotic footfall into the room.

Dreams and confidence of childhood

are shown to have settled into a run-of-the-mill existence

as this odd creature breezes in.

 

Porcelain skin is smooth and glowing.

Dark eyes lead to deep pools of creative knowledge

and foreign thought.

Turquoise blue and vibrant purple hair

shines.

Side ponytails curl and twist

with her movements.

A gentle teal ocean kiss to her shoulder on one side,

a violet jolt on the other.

 

A feminine lacy black dress juxtaposes a puffy white rabbit’s tail

peeking out from under

the hem of a black military coat.

With a quick shrug, a stegosaur backpack is over her shoulders.

Pink, orange, brown and yellow spikes

protrude from her back.

 

A surprisingly deep and husky voice reveals an ancient soul

inside a youth’s body.

In one throaty breath she says a quick hello and good-bye,

making no apology for her brevity.

 

An air of mystery is left in her wake.

Thoughts of her unusual tail and unique character

bring a smile

and a moment of wistful longing

for lost youth.