Flavor Of A New Low
I will never forget when I was watching Flavor Of Love, Season 2, Episode 1, when the greatest hypeman in hip hop history, Flavor Flav, from the legendary Public Enemy, a hip hop group that pushed civil rights issues through their music, was holding a bucket of KFC with white gloves and a top hat. I was shocked. The image that immediately came to mind was The Buck character from the early 20th century. I was immediately saddened. As the season went, it got worse. Flav is sort of the godfather of blaxploitation on VH1. In my opinion, he pioneered in contemporary minstrelsy as far as television is concerned.
About the "Minstrel Hop" series:
I began this series using the same minimalist approach that I used with the Pop Life series. As I began to move forward however, I decided to branch out and make work that was a little more robust in terms of detail. Plus, since I wasn’t painting these in front of audiences, there was no need to rush to bewilder. I took my time and laid the detail in the way I needed to. I began to apply the paint layers down the way the renaissance masters did. By applying grey, blue, and green layers under flesh tones, it produced a more lifelike appearance in the characters. I didn’t use this technique in every piece. I chose to use Pan Pastels in the Aint’ My Mama and Mammie & Madea because I liked the softness of the medium. I felt it would be a nice treatment since the subject matter could be a little hard for some to contemplate. The fact that minstrel themes are so prevalent in contemporary entertainment may be hard for some to swallow. In MH, I placed two images together, one from the early American 19th century and one from contemporary America. The viewer can work out the relationship between the two images.