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Quiana Parks, (b. 1986)
Finding a muse inspires a breakthrough in every artist. For Parks, the companionship she foundalongside her friend, Junior, brought forth a significantly variegated piece. At the time, Junior was frequently being pulled over by police officers in his vehicle. Considering the constant reports of police brutality against Black men, this became a frightening ordeal for him and his loved ones. While the artist grew with worry, a few stereotypical headlines suggesting Black men were violent became her call-to-action.
Additionally, Parks was triggered during an outing upon overhearing white women sexualizing Black men, while simultaneously noting their fear of them. This event too demanded representation. To her, Junior possessed a beautiful aura and became an artistic support system. The robust blend of mahogany paint is meant to personify his spirit. Parks has attempted to recreate this style and has since been unsuccessful, crediting his beauty as one of one.
"Junior is the first person I felt comfortable enough to paint around. We are the same person, except he is five years younger than I am. Black men are human beings. They are loving. So, there is a lot more to this painting than my others." - Quiana Parks