Through my work, I portray the black queer experience in my everyday life. I was always hyper aware of my queerness, but it was not until going to a predominantly white institution that I was made hyper aware of my blackness. My “nigger wakeup call” showed me the ludicrous nature of white supremacy, allowing me to shine a light on situations where the voiceless are heard—that we are not caricatures, we are human, we are more than our history of slavery. Utilizing mixed media such as textiles/fabric, painting/drawing and performance, my goal is to bridge the gap between fine art and fashion while commenting on the socio-political state of what it is like to be black in predominantly white spaces such as the art and fashion world. I do this by repurposing and reclaiming the racial stereotypes that white supremacy has historically placed upon black people, namely using blackface and Ku Klux Klan imagery for the emotional shock value.
My ultimate goal is to create a fashion line that ranges from streetwear to avant-garde affordable pieces centered around helping the black queer community. This brand being called NEGROIDZ (718) focuses on shining a light on the evils of white supremacy that effect Queer Black America on a daily basis, through my lens as a native New Yorker with southern roots. I also utilize the term ‘NEGROW’ in my work as another way to co-opt white supremacy whilst uplifting black people moving away from the original meaning of negro, which is more often than not synonymous with darkness and evil. The ultimate goal of my brand is to bring black people together and unify as a whole into the future while still acknowledging our collective past. I want white people as a whole, when they look at my work, to feel a sense of shock and discomfort being confronted with the imagery that violently perpetrated racism, thus guilting them into taking action to rectify the trauma white supremacy has left on the black community.
Artist Statement for Shinin':
This handbag is part of my 'NEGROW' collection, specifically to lift up all my black queer folks. Originally taking inspiration from blackface and cartoons, this bag also references the streetwear brand 'BAPE' with the shooting star for an eye as well as my love for the cosmic. The main colors of the bag being aqua blue, pink and white also reference the trans flag, the base being a repurposed leather Coach bag. The message being, black trans people exist, are worthy in all forms and should be celebrated and loved who they are. The preconceived notion that all black trans people will always be poor or downtrodden upon because of structural racism, gender inequality and homophobia/transphobia is one I am combatting with this piece. Black trans people deserve to shine.
MO$H MALi in a black queer artist based in Queens, focused on blurring the lines between Fine Art and Fashion. A graduate of Pratt Institute's Drawing Program (2019), MO$H manages to integrate graphic line-work with their black queer experience in todays political climate by utilizing a variety of mediums and reclaimation of many painful symbols in black American's shared history. From paper & canvases to handbags, jewelry and clothing, MO$H aims to create a fashion line that connects the realms of streetwear and high fashion. Be on the lookout for NEGROIDZ (718).