I draw from my own personal experiences as an African-American and native in the Deep South for the themes of my art. In particular, what it means to be African-American in a white society and how this shapes the imagery of self. I have been using the self-portrait as a means to explore and question relationships that construct identity and subjecthood. As a black male in a largely white culture, I have been victimized by racism, but as an artist I have an opportunity to critique and revise the representations of blackness including, but not limited to, journalistic cartoons, advertisements, popular culture, and even high art that were major venues for the racial stereotyping of African-Americans. I examine historical memory and attempt to make manifest the racist myths and distortions as it persists in the present moment. My current works are representational and an infusion of photographic realism with illustrations from the nineteenth century, and of scientific racism, and historical caricatures of African-Americans from political cartoons and other sources currently available to me. In addition to the attention to detail I put in fusing and rendering form, scale has been a major factor in my work. My goal in using large-scale is to magnify the impact these images have had and continue to have on history, while asking viewers to conduct new examinations of racial representation.
Artist Bio / CV
A graduate of South Carolina State University (B.S. Art Education) and University of Florida (M.F.A. Studio Art), Damond Howard is an artist who combines art and history in unique ways. His interest and experience in African-American culture is distinguishable in his figurative work. His work explores issues of identity and subjecthood of the African-American experience. Among the many venues, Howard’s work have been exhibited at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art (South Carolina), the University of Tennessee's Downtown Gallery (Knoxville), Hammonds House Galleries and Resource Center for African American Art (Atlanta), The College of Wooster Art Museum (Ohio), MOJA Arts Festival (Charleston, South Carolina), the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago), and solo exhibitions in Kentucky, Arkansas, and South Carolina. In addition to creating and teaching art professionally, Howard writes and has contributed biographies on renowned African-American visual artists to the Harvard University’s African American National Biography. Howard’s writing and drawings about his own work have been featured and are published. Additionally, he has contributed illustrations to a PBS documentary on slain Civil Rights activist Harry T. Moore. In 2010, Howard was awarded Fellow in the Visual Arts by the South Carolina Arts Commission. The Fellowship is a juried award given to only one visual artist in the State.