Updated: Oct 23, 2019
In mid- February I got on a flight to Paris having no idea much the 5 days spent traipsing through the beautiful streets and astonishing museums would change the way I think, create and express.
I knew Gates to be many things: an artist, a mentor, a hometown hero, an activist but I did not know that he was also a historian. Amalgam is a project that is deeper than just something beautiful to look at; it shows the long past of racism in our country, the strength of love, and a story rarely ever told.
Amalgam was the furthest thing from one dimensional- it incorporated art in many forms that tied together as a cohesive project in order to tell an intricate, grueling, beautiful, and mysterious story. There were sculptures on both a small and large scale, a "forest" one could walk through, movement and audio shown through a video entitled The Dance of Malaga, and the juxtaposition of modern art as well as archival things. The exhibition was greater than my vocabulary, the only way for you to truly understand its magnificence would be to see it; however, if I had to be a single adjective to describe the work(s) it would be: powerful.
Seeing the story of Malaga told through various forms pushed me to think about the stories I could be telling. Every single person that walked into Palais de Tokyo that night walked away having learned something, that is truly incredible.
The inspiration instilled in me over the course of those days will never leave me. I am/will constantly push myself to not only be an artist but many things.....a teacher, an activist, a historian, a scientist... the possibilities are endless.
Lastly, I'd like to give the biggest of thank you's to Theaster Gates for the growth his work has enabled. Thank you, thank you, thank you!