Shorty looks like a suicide bomber with plastic explosives dangling off her neck, but she’s just kicking it; posting on a Radio Raheem-size boom box. Her posture is erect, but her expression is aloof or self-conscious. The objects resting on her chest resemble a rapper’s many gold chains. She’s got a Flavor Flav clock around her neck, African medallions, and other things that could either be a radio, a drum machine or something else entirely. Her alluring curves and cute features magnify her strong presence. Though the rough texture of the brown butcher-paper and the strong contrast in her black chalk drawn face, chokes her otherwise looming aura.
Artist Robert Pruitt‘s work is about black identity. What does it mean to be the product of a country that attempts to navigate the world’s moral compass, while responsible for building an economy on the backs of free labor, better known as slavery. Pruitt investigates the integration of pop-culture, black pride and self-induced shame. He presents a fresh context for how black people see themselves in modern America. His characters battle ripples vibrating from the past. Their style and nature holds a torch to the future. Still, their poses represent the notion of having to constantly negotiate and protect their vulnerable light in a threatening environment.
Pruitt is based in Houston, Texas.