Black Jesus (2022)
Mixed media on canvas 16x20
Black Jesus draws connections between Black celebrities, artists, and athletes. These people are crowned the way Jean Michel Basquiat crowned his heroes in his artwork. There are biblical references as well. 109 is referenced in this work in two parts. First, the time 1:09am is written near Nipsey Hussle's image. It was on the night of January 10th that the artist awoke suddenly at 1:09am. The next day, the news announced that Nipsey Hussle's killer would be sentenced on February 22. Although these two events occurred very close to each other, the artist does not believe him waking at 1:09am affected the killer's sentencing. That's ludicrous. However, the artist did have another strange moment while in Medellin, Colombia in 2018 when he awoke suddenly at 1:09am. Additional 109 references include biblical verses Romans 10:9, as well as the Hasmonean Dynasty, and Black Panther. Each mention points to a celebrity whose persona exemplifies excellency and leadership like Jesus. Oh, and the artist also suggests with the title and imagery of this work that Jesus was black.