In my artwork titled "I am Batman," I explore the personal story of a scar I have had since childhood. Growing up with this scar on my chest, I often felt self-conscious about exposing it to others and would avoid taking off my shirt in the presence of friends or acquaintances. Hiding my scar felt like I was hiding my alter ego, like I was a superhero or villain. It wasn't until I acquired more scars on my body that I became comfortable with showing my scar to the world. This artwork tells the story of my journey towards self-acceptance and vulnerability.
From painting with charcoal to blending with palm oil, both require brush strokes because of the canvas texture, which simulates the painting experience for me. This elegance is comprehended through the appeal of both visual and aromatic senses, due to the sublime and striking bronze-like hue of the figures, as well as the innocuous aura of the organic substance.
Palm oil’s versatility in our traditional African meal, and its tremendous export record, makes it the appropriate medium to showcase African veracity through Body Language series.
My use of palm oil to depict African anatomical figures, aims to tell tales of the raw and harsh reality of stigmatization to individuals living with body scars, body shaming, and body deformities caused by poverty, accidents, and genetics. As I have been inspired by my own scars, awakening a realization that ‘scars are tattoos’, beget the desire to capture my audience's empathy towards those who fall short of society’s standard of a beautiful body anatomy.
This figure painting is created on stretched canvas, using paint brush to apply the shades and tones of charcoal due to the surface texture of the canvas. I use erasers to lift off excess charcoal, and smudge the surface using a clothing piece. Lastly, blending with palm oil using a brush gives off a soothing fragrance of a traditional African meal.