By means of his meticulously rendered portraits, Santa Cruz-born artist Kajahl subverts the custom of Blackamoor—a extremely stylized European aesthetic that visualized folks of colour, notably African males, in exoticized varieties and subservient roles—by as an alternative depicting Black topics in valorized positions. A part of a sequence titled Royal Specter, the vivid work heart alchemists, students, astronomers, and varied mental figures inside grandiose and luxurious settings.
Whereas the artist’s works evoke the racist sculpture and ornamental items of Blackamoor, they take away the historic context and alter the unique narrative by anachronistic particulars. Every oil portray is layered with imagined parts, from the inaccuracies of the supply materials to Kajahl’s portrayals of fictional characters. “My fantasy is gazing again at their fantasy. I’m their fantasy and they’re mine… I’m the specter of their creativeness,” he says.
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