Profile: Kiese Laymon(1974-)

Kiese Laymon (born August 15, 1974) is an American writer, editor and a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of three full-length books: a novel, Long Division (2013), and two memoirs, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (2013) and Heavy (2018). Laymon’s work deals with American racism, feminism, family, masculinity, geography, Hip-hop and … Continue reading Profile: Kiese Laymon(1974-)

Profile: Delano Dunn (1978-)

Delano Dunn  is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts with an MFA in Fine Arts. Through painting, mixed media, and collage, Dunn explores questions of racial identity and perception within various contexts, ranging from the personal to the political, and drawing from his experience growing up in South Central L.A. He has had solo exhibitions in New York City, Los Angeles, and Buffalo, … Continue reading Profile: Delano Dunn (1978-)

Profile: Mark Bradford (1961-)

Born in Los Angeles in 1961, Mark Bradford earned a BFA in 1995 and an MFA in 1997 from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. From a young age, Bradford worked in his mother’s salon and referred to himself as a “beauty operator,” continuing to do so even as he earned recognition in the visual arts. Bradford’s early work often incorporated the tools of his trade, including singed permanent-wave endpapers, cellophane hair color, and human hair. In collage paintings like Daddy, Daddy, Daddy (2001), Bradford overlaid the translucent endpapers parallel to one another, their burned edges forming an imperfect, all-over grid. The corporeal mediums and delicate colors create a sense of intimacy and even nostalgia. However, this large-scale work’s burnt materials and compulsive, labor-intensive process could appear threatening, as reminders of a culturally mandated beauty regime. Though the composition is abstract, the materials evoke elements of Bradford’s personal narrative as well as the social and political significance of hair styling—especially hair straightening—in the black community. Continue reading Profile: Mark Bradford (1961-)