To Oakland with Love (Study)
This piece was a response to the growing gentrification in Oakland, California, the city where I was born and raised. I sought to capture the complexity and beauty of this multiracial city that I both love and hate. Growing up in Oakland, I witnessed violence and systemic inequality that perpetuated a culture of fear. There were many days when my block and my hood were unsafe for me, therefore I did not feel free to be myself and fully explore my place of origin. Additionally, it’s tough to survive in a city with rapidly rising costs, and the hardship is present on the faces of many people I see everyday. Yet Oakland has always been a wonderful source of pride, because it’s where I first learned about powerful movements such as the Black Panthers and the Chicano Arts movement - it's where I took my first art classes and where I learned how to express myself.
This print is part of a suite of experimental monotypes printed at Mullowney Studios in San Francisco, CA. Throughout 2013, I was growing more comfortable with my unique approach to monotyping, and was experimenting with different brayer sizes, stencils and layering techniques.