It was clear; I was not Manet’s Type.
Picasso-who had a way with women- only used me
& Duchamp never even considered me.
-Carrie Mae Weems, Not Manet’s Type| Photo Series
Skin like mine never did manage to make its way into the conventional art history courses or enable work to sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Well, there was that “African Phase,” Oh! and we all know that one piece Olympia where the Black maid happens to be painted in. And I’m pretty sure that the majority of African art stolen and exhibited in non African Museums are worth a pretty penny, but where does that profit go? Hm… I feel like I am walking a tight rope here. Contemplating the Black Female in Art only drives me to dead ends and leaves me wondering WHY? As a well-institutionalized fine artist I have been given the subtle and not so subtle message to be tight lipped on this matter and keep it moving. “It’s not attractive to keep talking about the race thing,” I’ve been told. I have never taken well to ill-advised direction, and this will be no exception. As it has been said that Aristotle wrote Nicomachean Ethics for his son Nicomachus, I write this piece for my unborn daughter, for if the apple does not fall too far from the roots, and in the event that she too happens to be born an Artist. I also write this for women like myself, who are driven to create work in a field, which we are invisible.