curated-art.png

ALL ARTWORK / DEEPER THAN MELANIN

An online art exhibition exploring colorism with lighting and color

Deeper than melanin

Oil Painting on Canvas (7 in total) + Smart Lighting
Artwork created by Andre Woolery
Follow Artist on Instagram

art-viewing-guide3.png
Deeper than melanin art collection explores colorism and what it means for Blackness
inside-the-artwork.png

HOW DOES OUR SKIN TONE AFFECT OUR PERCEPTION OF BEAUTY, RACE, AND CLASS?

Skin color separates us.  Views on skin tone harbor the friction. Biologically it is melanin. Socially it is more and among people of color, colorism is a deep issue.  In the light skin and dark skin debates, our constructed views are deeper than melanin. What can this divisive topic tell us about Blackness?

Colorism, a term coined by Alice Walker in 1982, is not a synonym of racism. Numerous factors can contribute to "race" ; therefore, racial categorization does not solely rely on skin color. Skin color is only one mechanism used to assign individuals to a racial category, but race is the set of beliefs and assumptions assigned to that category. Colorism is the dependence of social status on skin color alone. In order for a form of discrimination to be considered colorism, differential treatment must not result from racial categorization, but from the social values associated with skin color.

Colorism isn’t something new. This division shows up in social media chatter, childhood banter, and areas of prejudice between light skin and dark skin.  Using this lighting approach, I positioned two sides of tension in one position.  I wanted to deconstruct the layers beneath skin tone to understand our divided notions of beauty, love and respect.

The art examines history's role, reconnects the broken bridges, and presents symptoms of racism, colonialism and media. In the process, I saw Blackness held hostage by constructions of racial hierarchy.  A Blackness that was unique and complex as a result of history.  A Blackness with colonized history that succumbs to notions of a racial promise land.  A promised land of White wealth, beauty and love.  In that process, throwing away Black beauty not qualified by Whiteness. 

The art presents a paradox appended to melanin. Blackness fights for itself and struggles against itself. A simultaneous struggle against Whiteness and between Blackness. An external war and a civil war. This artwork is a collection of the intersections of colorism.   ~ Andre Woolery

HOW THE LIGHTING WORKS

This project places art and science together on a canvas.  Leveraging the principles of color subtraction and addition the art gained movement.  The paint pigments paired with colored light allow the eye to perceive something altered. The paint appears darker when the colored light does not share complementary colors. This allowed the artist to overlay words and then isolate them as the colored light changed using Philips Hue lighting and Lightbow App to program the lights. 

Artwork_header.jpg

SKIN SUPREMACY
Dimensions: 16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas + Smart Lighting

The tone of Black skin follows the same patterns as placing the White counterpart as the superior.  Racism is the fuel behind the notions of skin color preferences.

 

 

WE HAVE THE SAME MASSA
Dimensions: 16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas + Smart Lighting

The dynamics of skin tone is even more complex when considering slavery.  The lighter slaves worked in the house and were closely connected to their White slave master ancestry.  Meanwhile the darker slaves did labor in the fields and subjected to different circumstances.  Skin tone was a dividing line in physical placement.


CIVIL WAR WITH ALL CONFEDERATE FLAGS
Dimensions: 16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas + Smart Lighting

This ongoing battle of skin tone is a losing war for both sides.  Each side suffers because the fight is steeped in the ideologies of a White standard and a White superiority.

 

 

GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION
Dimensions: 16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas + Smart Lighting

When Whiteness is the polar opposite of Blackness, every characteristic that becomes associated with Whiteness, such as beauty, becomes an opposite to Blackness.  Blackness becomes guilty of all White innocence.

WE ARE EVERYTHING.
Dimensions: 16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas + Smart Lighting

The shades of Blackness are as vast as its amount of beauty.  The celebration of Blackness as a whole is where the true beauty exists.

 

 

CONQUERED SKIN
Dimensions: 16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas + Smart Lighting

The world's issues with skin tone falls in the same category. As the world became colonized, the conqueror became the image of everything worthy of power and aspiration. 


LATE TO CLASS
Dimensions: 16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas + Smart Lighting

This one is a blend of history, colonialism, slave dynamics, and White supremacy all blended up in a perspective on class.

 

buy-the-artwork.png
melanin-noun.png
artwork on colorism and beauty and blackness

THE ORIGINALS

Oil Painting on Canvas (7 in total) + Smart Lighting

Original Artwork Price Range.002.jpeg