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RÉNA KING

USA

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I am a 21 year old woman from Barbados. I was raised in Long Island New York and am finishing up my college career from Dartmouth College. My mother and I emigrated from Barbados to the United States when I was four years old and have always struggled with my identity as a black woman in a country that my roots are not tied to. I have passion for the arts which is my major as well as African American/African studies, which is my minor. As a child, I had always had a passion for drawing and creating things with my hands. It was only when I got to high school and my teacher encouraged me to paint for the first time that I could see myself as an artist. From there I poured all of my sense of self into my work and decided to continue this journey into college. This has led me to primarily focus on painting people of color and portraying blackness through different lenses. Most of the paintings are portraits that tie into what it means to be black within the Black Diaspora. Black history is an overflow of creativity and culture. Blackness is unfiltered beauty and expression. Being an artist has come with its own set of trials and tribulations but when I think about freedom I think about being able to create works like these.

I also derive a lot of my recent work from black history and my concepts of my Bajan heritage. This focus on black bodies and our stories has been crucial to me as people of color are not often the subject of portraits within the history of fine arts. Due to this lack of representation I am redefining what it means to be black in a contemporary art space and I want to encourage viewers to think about unseen black narratives.

© 2020 by Hansford and Sons Fine Art Ltd.

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