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Issue 60 | www.fokus.org


Atiba T. Edwards // Founder & Chief Curator

Atiba is an engineer focused on making and connecting creative people through moments so that they can impact their own world.

Jozi Zwerdling // Curator

Jozi is an artist enabler, educator and organizer who loves the INSIGHT project as a means of re-imagining, linking and documenting selves, stories and worlds.

Shani Cohen // Curator

Shani is a Brooklyn based writer who believes in uniting our diverse communities through art and the power of words.

Jordan Kifer // Curator

Jordan is a writer focused on creating art that invites conversation and inspires larger cultural impact.

INSIGHT Magazine showcases and archives emerging contemporary artists from all art disciplines. FOKUS produces this magazine to provide insight into people who are creating art, traditional and non-traditional, in their own way.

INSIGHT: FROZEN

Cover: “The Value of Nothing III” by Ken Nwadiogbu

Contributing Artists:

Atiba T. Edwards • Merisdy Florexile • Maddie Flythe • Colin James • Ken Nwadiogbu • Christine Sloan-Stoddard• Dareece Walker

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Questions, comments and contributions can be sent to insightsubmit@gmail.com. To view past issues of INSIGHT, visit www.fokus.org/insight. Copyright © 2019. INSIGHT (ISSN 2164-7771) is a publication of FOKUS, Inc. All rights reserved on entire contents. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.


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Dareece Walker Atiba T. Edwards Merisdy Florexile Maddie Flythe Christine Sloan-Stoddard Colin James

Photography

Visual Art

Our Angels Art Is Life: Ken Nwadiogbu Gravity Subway Screen Friends Faceless Among Pearls Can’t Deny Yourself the Coolest Pleasure

Creative Writing

Articles


INSIGHT: FROZEN

Our Angels

Dareece Walker

They are Clipping Down our Youth 4 | www.fokus.org


INSIGHT: FROZEN

My work depicts a moment frozen in time. As a black man, when I hear freeze! I immediately associate it with police. This work is a metaphor for how police brutality has been exasperatedly exercised on youth of color. Even when we survive a cop yelling freeze, we remain frozen in time by fear, as does much of our potential. It is as if there were a plan to remain clipping their wings, and locking them in cages forever frozen in the memories of the last time they heard freeze.

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They Lock our Babies in Cages

Dรกreece Walker (b.1989) is a Visual Artist working in Brooklyn, NY. Walker received his B.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and his M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York. www.DareeceJWalker.com 6 | www.fokus.org


Art is Life: Ken Nwadiogbu

INSIGHT: FROZEN

Interview by Atiba T. Edwards. Images courtesy of the artist I came across a gripping image of black face peering intently behind the Euro symbol accompanied with the title “The Value of Nothing III.� This powerful juxtaposition of imagery and commentary hooked me onto the work of Ken Nwadiogbu. I prsent to you a brief glimpse of the artist. Ken is a Nigerian visual artist who uses visual art to comment and challenge Black Representation. While earning a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering he taught himself art to make a change in his community.

Lost Consciousness I, 2017 www.fokus.org |

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AE: When did you realize you wanted to pursue visual art instead of a more traditional route with your civil and environmental engineering degree? KN: My art career began as a coincidence of sort. I saw a drawing by a colleague and dared myself to do a better drawing and I did but I didn’t stop there. I continued to draw and got better at it. The moment I realized that I wanted to pursue visual art was when I understood that I can do more than just wowing people with it. I became very familiar with issues affecting my peers and those around me and wanted to make a change in my community. I decided that I am just one person with a little voice but with my art, it’s a multitude of voices, as I challenge and investigate socio-political structures and issues affecting Black people.

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The Value of Nothing II, 2018


INSIGHT: FROZEN

Thy Brother is Not Thy Broher Indeed, 2017

Speak more to your style of art. It feels like a literal peak below the surface or breaking through of the main subject due to its 3-D nature. My oeuvre encompasses various mediums including charcoal, collage, acrylic and most recently photography. I describe my style of art as ‘Contemporealism’ and it is largely centered on the fusion of hyper-realism and contemporary art. It is a welcome deviation from the traditional hyper-realism movement. My work has since evolved from hyper-realism, as I infuse elements from contemporary art into my work –hence, contemporealism. The peak below the surface or the breakthrough of the main subject often seen in many of the pieces is achieved with several hours on each detail using charcoal or pencil. My creative process involves me conceptualizing ideas for my work, penning down the idea and drawing. It sounds really simple, but it is quite complicated, especially in the detailing of each work. It often takes hours just to achieve a particular detail and I must admit, I am always happy with the result. www.fokus.org |

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Where do you draw your inspiration from for your work? I do not just create art to blow people’s mind, but I create art to make a statement and to make a change in my own little way. Armed with charcoal and pencil, I am able to do this on canvas and paper. It is important to me to promote and intervene on socio-political issues relating to Black people in order to create a reform and change in the society. I believe I can do this through my work.

How does your work speak on these issues? My work speaks on these issues through how I choose to depict my subjects. For instance, in my “Bad Mentality” series, I shed light on issues like brutality, while inviting people to ponder and question commonly accepted socio-political norms and mentality.

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INSIGHT: FROZEN

A Mother’s Cry, 2019 www.fokus.org |

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Often times, there is an implicit lane particularly Black families builds for us when it comes to degrees and fields of study. Tell us about the conversation with your family when you told them you were going to pursue art. As like any other African family, my family –my parents, were reluctant to accept my art path. This was conversation we had while I was studying civil and environmental engineering in University of Lagos. We both decided to compromise and in order to appease them, I agreed to finish my degree, while actively pursuing my art career. Now my parents introduce me as their son the artist and they are very proud of what I have been able to achieve in such a short time.

To view more of Ken’s works at www.kennwadiogbu.com and also his IG page www.instagram.com/kennwadiogbu

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INSIGHT: FROZEN

AE: Complete the phrase “Art is..” KN: Art is life.

Headline Series No. 5, 2019 www.fokus.org |

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Gravity

Merisdy Florexile Now slips through fingers yet memories linger like ghosts in limbo. Later rests patiently, comfort grows brazenly, until there’s no time left. Drink a Microsecond shake in Nanoseconds. Now is then When? It all depends. Let’s bend time together, lock ourselves in forever, with this moment.

Merisdy is a literary artist from Brooklyn, N.Y. Her work was published in the 2018 poetry and prose Anthology, A Suitcase of Chrysanthemums. Her next literary art project is set to launch in 2020. www.merisdyologyx.wordpress.com 14 | www.fokus.org


Cuban Paradise

INSIGHT: FROZEN

Maddie Flythe

I observed in Brooklyn on a Friday night when two young women giggled onto the subway together, sat and rested their heads together and watched one screen - it was a moment I wanted to tell them to freeze and hold onto because adult friendship is so much harder to find, takes so much longer to build and is so much easier to crack or melt away. Maddie is a full time senior designer for Brooklyn Public Library who dabbles in many things from illustration to jewelry making, to sailing and running. www.maddieflythe.com www.fokus.org |

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Faceless Among Pearls Christine Sloan-Stoddard

As a little girl, I always felt frozen in people’s perception of my gender identity. That feeling still haunts me from time to time. Though I embrace being a woman, I do so on my own terms. That means embracing the feminine, the masculine, and the androgynous according to my own spell book.

Christine Sloan Stoddard is a Salvadoran-American writer and interdisciplinary artist. She is the founder of Quail Bell Magazine, as well as the author of Desert Fox by the Sea and other books. 16 | www.fokus.org


Can’t Deny Yourself The Coolest Pleasure

INSIGHT: FROZEN

Colin James

No trees have been destroyed during the making of this hologram. Let me walk you through it. A side view of a hill long incline without barriers. The brain has its preferences. Someone’s handiwork like graffiti without the object backers just nicely hanging there. We used to be able to get dry ice from the drugstore, or was it the hardware man? Don’t know if it’s an improvement. The hill alarmed by allegory approaches, rebuffs, repeats defers to the crush of you.

Colin James has a book of poetry, Resisting Probability, from Sagging Meniscus Press. He lives in Massachusetts.

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