Alfred Conteh, Daishon, 2023; Hand-Embellished, Signed, and Numbered Limited Edition Print
Alfred Conteh uses his practice to explore his personal identity and history from a number of different perspectives. Born in Fort Valley and based in Atlanta, the artist explores the ways in which African Americans have dealt with the generational disparities that have affected their communities, particularly in the Southern United States. His figurative paintings place contemporary members of the African diaspora—often subjects who he has met and interacted with—in mundane environments. These portraits appear weathered, rusted and degraded, achieved by the use of materials such as battery acid, soil and melted plastic. Conteh’s works are included in several major collections, including that of The Legacy Museum, Montgomery, AL; the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS; Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Atlanta, GA; and several others.
Intended to memorialize a moment in which the artist was forced to reconcile with his own biases, Daishon depicts a young, Black man that he once encountered, who held up two fingers while wearing a sweatshirt. Conteh initially perceived the stranger as a threat, but soon discovered that the gesture was simply intended to be a peace sign. This interaction reminded the artist of his own experiences as a Black person constantly confronted by suspicion and discomfort. The resulting work humanizes its inspirational figure, prompting viewers to revisit their own proclivity to misguided preconceptions. For this edition, the artist has embellished the background elements of each print with hand-brushed gold leaf paint, making each work unique.
Reflecting on this work, the artist notes, “When it comes to me recontextualizing my perception, Daishon is a proxy. When I was his age, older people were wary of me. They would lock their doors when I was walking. Now, if I see a young brother coming around the neighborhood and I don’t know him, I’m wary. I have to check myself a lot, and do self-examination to make sure whether my understanding of things is off or on.”
In support of global reforestation, ten trees will be planted for each print sale of works in this series commissioned on the occasion of EXPO CHICAGO 2023. The artist will also receive 50% of net proceeds from each sale.
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*Unframed prints ship within 1-3 weeks.
*Framed prints ship within 3-6 weeks.