Crystal Antoinette Graham
I am most compelled to make art by the prospect of unfolding, refining and fixing an idea in a beautiful way. Because of the ability of words to drive reflective thought, words--my own and those of others--are often the force behind my creative process. I generally use decorative elements and pattern in my work, and am most satisfied with pieces that have an overall simplicity yet contain small pockets of complexity.
I was intrigued by the exhibit concept of creating visual art as a response to Hip Hop lyrics. Particularly inspiring is the underlying theme of authenticity. The lyrics I chose for my piece comes from the song "Rock N Roll" on Mos Def's album, Black on Both Sides: "I am Rock N Roll/Been here forever/They just ain't let you know". The lyrics resonate with my personal interest in tracing and/or joining individual and collective histories as a means of pursuing greater authenticity. The song also speaks to a creative/cultural lineage present in the Hip-Hop as an art form. The goal of this piece was to express my adoration for the music by referencing the roots of the culture that eventually manifested itself as Hip-Hop.
The piece "Black on Both Sides" is a single image created with acrylic paint and divided between four canvas panels.
Crystal Antionette Graham is a freelance visual artist and writer living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She has a BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute and a MS in Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America. Among her current projects is a children's book dealing with sexual victimization.