Patrickson St Elien
Blackness at my core, influenced my paintings. Current times have taken their toll and made me realize the difficulties of living in my own skin. Going days without seeing people that look like me- without seeing my own reflections- gave birth to the broken mirror and the introspective quest of self-discovery through self-portraits. I began to develop a deep fear as I matured. Thrown into the adult world, I gave into the alluring demons of escapism. When trying to escape a world painted white, I found myself surrounded by the only places where I could see Black again: in the midst of a void. There, I was reunited with history and memories as to why I am who I am.
The world told me I could not dream. I met it with resilience. While I was connected to traditional painting spiritually, I turned to digital painting when I saw that my canvases were fated to be locked away and neglected in my small home. At the cost of tactile precision and traditional practice, my work could forever live in the digital complex devoid of the physical world so long as they were shared on instagram or an art featuring website. This sparked the embers, once more, of dreaming to be immortalized by my art and not forgotten.
I am heavily inspired by the sombre, yet visionary, elements of tenebrism found in Caravaggio's work. Using dramatic illumination in my work led to cognitive aspects that depicted the most tender parts of my heart. Rembrandt taught me the importance of light and capturing the soul in one of his final self-portraits painted in 1660. The darkened eyes showed the will of man aware of his impending mortality.
The color black creates a dichotomy that only further illuminates the vibrant and zealous colors of hope. Darkness and hope, not to be mistaken for Black and white, are shattered pieces of the same mirror. If the pieces of the mirror are put together successfully, the message will beguile the viewer and transcend the boundaries of time and perception.
To see my work: