I am interested in Neuromelanin as it relates to spirituality and self-consciousness and I explore these ideas through paintings, sculptures, and multi-sensory art installations. My works are quasi-figurative and ambiguous, and bring together ideas central to modern debates about Neuromelanin. My environments are surreal, encompassing themes such as under-recognized African American inventors, the politics of sexual desire, and the complex aesthetics, narratives and metaphors that attach to the organic substance.
Neuromelanin is a pigment found specifically in the dopaminergic neurons of the human substantia-nigra (dark-substance) in the base of the brain. Neuromelanin is secreted by the pineal gland, a part of the brain that is believed to play a significant role in human spirituality. French philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes, 1596-1695 stated, “The pineal gland is the principal seat of the Soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed.” Later I engaged in my own research of Neuromelanin. “On a philosophical plane, Neuromelanin is the biological doorway through which the life force of African spirituality passes in moving from the spirit to the material realm,” Dr. Richard King.
My most recent work The Philosopher’s Stone, is a multi-sensory, interactive art installation. To immerse in the work, audiences are welcome to lie on the bed while viewing a floating sculpture. Participants are also wearing a pair of binaural headphones, listening to a non-linear conversation in four languages. They are also experiencing thirteen different aromas within the space, while being fed by a phoenix deity.
“The Philosopher’s Stone is an ancient myth often described as a magical stone or elixir which is impossible to find. Metaphysically, the stone is a reference to the search for one’s soul. The intention of the installation is to activate the audience’s imagination through the senses. I want participants to tap into the deepest parts of their subconscious mind through imagination and meditation.
This period in my work has expanded my consciousness both socially and spiritually. The impact the work has had on viewers has been described as an experience of magical transformation and self-awareness. I believe the spiritual nature of Neuromelanin and its abilities to connect us to our higher being is a universal curiosity that connects us as human beings.
I was born in Haiti in 1974 and moved to South Florida in 1988 in my teens. I earned BFAs in painting and graphic design from the New World School of the Arts. My work has been exhibited throughout the US, South America, and the Caribbean. I have twice received the South Florida Cultural Consortium Award and I was granted the Artist Access Grant and The Diaspora Vibe Cultural Incubator grant, which allowed me to complete a month-long artist residency program in Santiago de Cuba. I am the founder and artistic director of Art in the Sky project, a series of multi-sensory interactive public art installations in Miami Dade County with supports from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners. In 2016, the installation project was selected to represent Paris Perfume’s new cologne, Pour Un Homme CARON Sport during Miami Art Week (Art Basel).