Devin Troy Strother explores race in America and addresses its pitfalls through intricate visual compositions and alternate narratives. The prolific artist is interested in the personal and projected identity of self and society, tackling racial caricatures with humor and thereby disarming the stereotype. Our collaboration with Devin Troy Strother constitutes of a ceramic sculpture depicting a black ghost holding a candle that also functions as a lamp. The classic image of the cartoonish ghost draped in white bedsheets with eyeholes is a racially charged image in itself. This representation dates back at least to the post U.S. Civil War period. The image inspired the uniforms of the Ku Klux Klan; the extremist white Suprematist organisation’s attire was meant to look ghostly. The history of ghosts and race goes even deeper; ‘Spook’ (derived from the Dutch word for ghost or apparition) was a disparaging term for black people used in the 1940s. The idea behind the derogatory slur is that after sundown black people’s darker skin tone blends with the darkness of the night, leaving only the whites of their eyes visible, thus resembling a ghost. Strother transforms this image by turning the ghost black and adorning him with favoured motif of his: blackface. The artist’s main objective is always to provoke emotion, whether good or bad. The emotional reaction should further the conversation.
Porcelain black glazed
Edition: 100 + 10 AP’s
Sized 28cm. tall
Custom made screen printed box + Book/zine
Signed and numbered COA