We had the good fortune of connecting with Afi Ese and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Afi, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I recognize the importance of positive black images in daily life and use my work to help direct the Black narrative and experience in an honest and transparent fashion. I want each piece to leave the viewer feeling culturally empowered, especially the youth. I try to embed bold fresh images in the minds of viewers and hopes to replace some of the miseducation and misleading imagery that plagues my community.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a child of the diaspora, my paintings are conceptualized narratives of the African plight through the eyes of a self-aware Black American. I combine and reimagine historical events and attributes specific to the Black American experience. In doing so, I get to shine a spotlight on the beauty and resilience of my community by using the gifts and talents given by my ancestors.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston has an amazing professional art community and I make it a point to take all of my visiting friends, family, and fellow creatives to art museums and galleries around town. The Houston Museum of African American Culture and the Shrine of the Black Madonna are two of my favorite art galleries. Great food can also be found near both of these places, including Suzie’s, Sunshine’s, and Earthly Goodness Vegan Ice Cream.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We have a great activism community here and all are deserving of recognition but I would specifically like to shout out Third Eye Media, U Can’t Draw Johnny, and Craig Carter the Artist for their creative support and daily motivation. They are all such talented and hard working man here in the city.