One day while watching TV, a commercial for a new cartoon special about Freaknik came on Adult Swim. The main character was the ghost of Freaknik Past, was to me, a recreation of a picaninny with different colored lips and dollar sign ornaments.
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.