This series began with my exploration of indigenous African knowledge systems, and I set out to create a visual style that would uniquely capture their cosmic grandeur, dense symbolism, and presentation of Blackness as the divine, cosmic source from which everything emerges.
For this work, I leveraged my training as an engineer to build a camera flash that only transmits ultraviolet light, hand painted the bodies of nude Black models with fluorescent paints that only glow under ultraviolet light, and photographed them in total darkness. For the fraction of a second that the shutter snapped, a transfiguration happened: these bodies were illuminated as the starry universe itself, and scenes inspired by the archive of African diasporic myth sprang to life.
The predominant influences here are creation narratives from Nigerian (Igbo) and Malian (Dogon) cosmologies. These sacred sciences are poetically rendered systems of spiritual and empirical principles organized around the goal of divinizing human consciousness. Drawing on their influence, this work similarly fuses art, science, myth, and technology to provide a vehicle for Black transfiguration.
Prints & Merchandise: Available Here