Cultured Black Baroque

A stylized self-portrait. My constant state of change and transition.

  A stylized self-portrait. My constant state of change and transition.

This was a spur of the moment deal where I decided to participate in Illustration Friday, and thought of it being the chance to kill two birds with one stone. I rarely do self-portraits, especially ones where I have a huge grin on my face (I wear braces you see), yet I feel I just might have to one eventually. They are after all, apart of my endless series of progression.

I don’t want to analyze the picture too much but the inspiration came from reading just a snippet of a novel called Save the Pearls. The self-published book has been out for nearly a year and I was curious about the premise of it being set in a dystopian future where the sun has cooked the earth, making only dark-skinned people more apt at surviving than white people. In this instance, black people are the ruling cast. The problem with this idea (aside from the misconceptions about our darker skin not suseptible to sunburn), is that black people are referred to as Coals while white people are called Pearls. Infer what you will, read up the author, I can’t talk further about it. My red flags are on fire.

So in my own form of retaliation I drew this piece in reference to the forms that pearls can take. White pearls, pristine and perfectly spherical, are actually hard to find and usually have to be cultured at special farms. They can come in different colors and can also be very oddly-shaped. The largest pearl in the world, Lao Tzu is as baroque as it gets. So don’t tell me that only perfect white pearls have value. They do, but variety is real and it holds more value than any single gem.



Save the Pearls website…sigh:

And an interesting find: