“The work utilizes surrealist photomontage collage and the photographic image. Most of the images used to construct the work are shot and digitized by me. I am working within the realm of photo-montage and afro-surrealism to create environment, mysticism, ritual practices, spaces for black exclusivity and narrative. While “traditions” usually denote a patriarchal understanding of culture, inheritance and practice, I found that subverting that notion and working with matriarchal imagery more rewarding. My vision was to re-establish the matrilineal properties of being African and on this earth. The images used are a collection of African diasporic religious practices, spiritual emblems and iconography that have passed down through the history and cultures of Africans in the Americas as well as some continental ethnic groups. West African traditions, while still being identifiable, are now transmuted and fused into a definitive Pan-African aesthetics. Each individual piece retaining it’s history with nation state, but the sum being more powerful than it’s parts. The entirety symbolizing the collective and each detail the individual. My intention was to amplify the importance of transferrals of energy, labor and artifacts as factual history. My vision was to paint a cohesive idea of African fusion, while honoring the things I have collected during my personal research of our African/Black Global identity.”
J. Slater is a Pan-African 3rd Gendered Southsider from Chicago(They/Them pronouns), navigating thoughts, systemic oppression, patterns, rhythms, contextual histories and fantasy all while surviving a society set out to erase them.
Joshua Slater,(CARBONYX) works in both the Visual and Performing arts. With a background in Theater Arts, Arts Administration/Arts Education and a studio practice in Film and Photography. Carbonyx found himself deeply invested in not only designing characters, story arcs and plots but envisioning entire alternate universes and “future spaces” as he would come to describe them. These “future spaces” include but are not limited to intersexed dieties, prophets, anthropomorphic sages, clones, fallen pharaohs and unsung Shamans of color. “Future Spaces” has been viewed as akin to speculative fiction (i.e. Octavia Butler who the artist cites as a large inspiration) and is used by the artist to provide some hope of change or relief in the next realm, life or world to the oppressed. Carbonyx’s work has been classified as somewhere in between Middle Earth and Englewood and he views that uncharted territory, that univestigated, unexplored space as a playground for his ideas.
Joshua Slater graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Practice, mainly focusing on FIlm, Photography, Performance Art and Fashion.