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a self portrait of the african american artist wearing floral-like patterns and holding a teacup; main feature is a curved band that alters the natural skin and hair tones to vibrant reds, pinks and purples, starting from the bottom left corner and arching into the tea cup. The bird and the flowers are not the subjects but help break up the bright red and brown background. The artist (the subject) is almost toasting to you with a smile!

untitled self portrait

Ikalanni Jahi

Oil Paint on Wood Panel

This piece was created as a final project for a figure painting course I took, meant to emulate a masterpiece and make it our own by inserting our faces into it. As an African American woman, it was hard finding a typical “old masterpiece” to see myself in, so I took a step out and chose a more modern piece to better suit my features (based on a work by @orphans_inc on Instagram)! I found this painting to be highly reflective of my dual-sidedness when it comes to my personality; sometimes mundane with only undertones and shadows of hue, while other times life decides to explode into a range of vibrancy and pattern. Color always speaks in my work and I think the mashup here urges you to also view yourself in a similar luminous duality!