Bryant Park Shoeshine, 2016
42nd Street and 5th Avenue, Manhattan, New York City
For this participatory public performance, I bought a pair of all-white Air Force 1's and received a shoeshine at the stand on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The work embeds itself in the practice of shoe-shining to explore it's material and metaphorical qualities, and it's relationship to aspects of identity, power, and labor.
The Whole Thing Done Changed, in collaboration with Carl Westbrooks
When I moved to Bed Stuy, Brooklyn in 2015, I learned about the neighborhood by getting to know local people who have lived there for decades and who have significant connections to the community.
As a result the education I've received, I've obtained all of these second-hand associations and context which has not only made the area a lot more interesting to me, but has also informed the decisions that I make as a resident and community member myself.
I've learned a lot from my boxing trainer Carl Westbrooks. When we drive around together he always points out buildings or locations in the neighborhood and talks about their history and often shares some specific memory he has associated with it. As part of project initiated by Harrell Fletcher, I was given $100 to commission someone (ideally a non-artist) to do a project. I commissioned Carl to do essentially what he would do with me normally, except this time, it would be framed as an art project and I would document it through photographs and an audio recording, which I would use to transcribe our conversation.
Our conversation was featured in the Spring 2021 issue of the Social Forms of Art Journal.