Brian Pittman

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I am a time traveler. I create paintings derived from relics that I have acquired through my journeys in time. The relics speak to me about realities and truths connected to “our” past and present.

I paint with charcoal ash acquired from a Klansman charred cross, a linen flag from my world that is adorned with my planet’s symbol for freedom, a cotton shirt, a gift to me, worn by a “free-slave”, purple pigment represents my newly acquired “wealth” of education, and grape soda as a dedication to all the corner stores in my hood that only sell this unnatural and unhealthy, yet delicious, “drank”!

I have observed the presence of racism and racial tension even within the black community. I chose to address these issues in my art. I write stories, some historically accurate and some fabricated, from my invented conversations about race relations, my obligations to community, and my blackness.

What is expected of me as a black artist and what is black art? My work reveals ghostly muted images of my brief encounters. This muting puts the images at a distance, yet they persist and return. That which no longer exist, still holds in fragmented or “ghostly” form. These ghostly images represent a recorded black history and memory that I was never revealed to me until my adulthood.

My visits through time reveal to me accomplished yet fallible black people who contributed to the betterment of humankind that I never knew existed.