[Artist, b. 1948, Harlem, New York, lives in Hyannis, Massachusetts.]
Racism is a visual pathology.
One reason for making and exhibiting a work is to induce a reaction or change in the viewer.... In this sense, the work as such is nonexistent except when it functions as a medium of change between the artist and viewer.
I am black. What are you going to do about it?
... my mom died in ‘94 and I took care of her for two years before she died, and she died of emphysema... she was very radically anti-smoking and my father also died of smoking-related diseases. And when she was dying, she kept urging me to make art out of it because she was in so much pain and she didn’t want for it to be for nothing. So my role was basically to give her death meaning, so I started taking all of these photographs and now I have thousands of photographs of her...
My work is an act of communication, and it’s important to me the way what I assert lands, and where it lands within someone who sees it. On the other hand, I also recognize fully and live by the principle that once the work leaves my studio, I cannot control the effects it has.