Researcher ORCID Identifier
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2020 Blake D Morton
I constantly experience external pressure to make identity-related artwork in response to the ongoing racial-reckoning occurring in the United States.
Initially, I was concerned with the pitfalls of creating identity-art. One of which being pigeon-held as a Black artist— whose sole function is to share my vulnerable experiences —and be commodified and diluted for superficial consumption. A Black artist whose work would only be valuable when institutions needed to satisfy a diversity quota, a Black History Month initiative or to conduct damage control after being “canceled.”
All of which may very well still happen. I’ve utilized this project to work through my anxieties about contributing to the “woke economy.” I am more interested in developing my visual vocabulary for discussing racial identity. A visual vocabulary to explore and critique the very structures that bastardize the voices of Black artists.
Morton, Blake, "Painting While Black: Exploring Racial Identity Through Iconography" (2021). Scripps Senior Theses. 1732.