| Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

Tavarus Blackmonster

United States
Focus area: Sound, Acoustics, Net Art, , Augmented Reality, Astronomy, Space, Computer Science, Engineering, Design, Illustration, Painting, 2D Forms, Video, Film, Writing, Literature, Poetry

My practice is involved with trauma and healing. As an artist I use interdisciplinary terms. I
discuss the difficult nature of being a disabled, Black, artist through a cultural lens. More
specifically, how my internal struggle is portrayed in my work and how for me, that creates
healing. I am a survivor of physical trauma, having underwent open-heart-surgery as a child.
The post trauma has caused challenges in my life but art and making have provided a way to
heal, a way to address my Black identity and a way to place my personal history within the
history of art.
I use motif to discuss issues of domesticity, race and joy. For example, my role as a Father
who, was sexualized as a young adult. I use gestures to engage the contradiction of being both
objectified and a caretaker with a visual language, a written verse and plastic pixels of virtual
space. I employ abstraction and surreal images. I twist lyric into feeling and churn catharsis
from the wrought emotion. The combination of distasteful visual expression and embodiment
of the work is paradoxically beautiful because my use of color, original forms and my passion
for the studio practice. I am informed by my experience as a Black man and inspired by my life
as a successful and professional, schizophrenic.
The major contradiction in my life is that my personal struggles inform my work but do not
overlap with my professional relationships. Further, that due to my disability making art
presents the only labor not concerned with my psychology. I receive retirement benefits
because of my childhood trauma. But I have never worked harder than as an artist. In this way,
my experience has evolved parallel with duality. Where through my art, I express my personal
history - a unique history of a Black experience - yet I also share difficult truths about myself
through the removal of a visual language, a written language, an embodiment of the lived
experience that is both solitary in its trauma but universal in its quest for healing.
My work is involved with trauma and healing.
My work is involved.
My work... Work