Racism is palpable across America. Its acknowledgment, exhibition, punishment and eradication are a responsibility of all of us. Isabel Wilkinson’s most recent prose, “Caste, the origins of our discontent” provides examples of systematic racism up until today. Black people have endured 400 years of oppression and the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others further fueled the racial justice movement roaring Black lives matter.
OBSERVE but Say Nothing, 2020, 24 in x 24 in, acrylic on canvas
As a society we had failed in bringing our country to terms with its history of slavery, lynching and ongoing oppression of the black community. Artist Michael Constantine examines denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, in his powerful debut collection at Buffalo Art Movement: “On Grieving…”
SCREAM but Keep It Together, 2020, 36 in x 24 in, acrylic on canvas
Constantine’s capsule collection represents an emotional output of a man who has survived mental and physical abuse within his own community and a country who refuses to acknowledge him as an equal.
QUESTION but Don’t Offend, 2020, 24 in x 30 in, acrylic on canvas
Michael Constantine is a modern Machiavelli, a man of multiple talents. He is a sustainable skin care entrepreneur, occupational therapist and self-trained artist. He was born in Queens, New York and was raised in Kingstown, Jamaica. He relocated to Buffalo where he studied architecture and occupational therapy at the University at Buffalo. Michael’s artistry is influenced by powerful storytelling lyrics of hip-hop and R&B artists.
MOURN and Hope for Change, 2020, 24 in x 24 in, acrylic on canvas
ACCEPT and Move Forward, 2020, 48 in x 36 in, acrylic on canvas