black diaspora visual arts | events | site map | artistnet | gallery news
home | exhibitions | partners | collections | artists | news | contact us | about nagc
who’s on show  artists on
artist listings  
by medium  
by name  
by style  
  people at work   
  race and ethnicity   
current exhibitions   
abstract   | Artist Listings

Ras Ishi  Butcher
Born: August 5, 1960

 statement  profile & education  commissions  publications  exhibitions  collections  key works  awards

My statement is on a wall, in an exhibition or in anything that I have done. I will leave the interpretation to the viewer, critic, historian, or any other person who wishes an explanation. I usually believe or always make the suggestion that I am talking about my process of creating, my influences and my artistic philosophy. These various positions should assist one in knowing more about me as an artist.

The process of painting or of an artist creating is an act of magic. It’s a ritual of endowing objects or images with beauty. This magical experience usually terminates with extreme pleasure, a visual orgasm, or a disruption of one’s emotions and mental faculties when things go wrong. In a negative condition, I usually try to redeem myself by learning something new or different. A so-called mistake is another technique in one’s arsenal and a broadening of one’s capabilities to challenge other works.

My ritualistic acts sometimes need chaotic circumstances and/or physical anguish for the best that I have internally to be revealed externally. That sense of uneasiness assists me in overcoming the anxiety one faces when working, especially in the initial stages of each work. Sometimes, I take many hours of conetemplation and brooding before the actual event commences; it requires total effort, discovering the interrelation between materials and ideas. For as soon as action starts it’s like a spontaneous and direct combustible reaction. The understanding of the media allows me the facility to work without thinking of subject or sometimes even object, since my mind is usually occupied with all sorts of fresh ideas and fantasies or anything that might amuse me, with loud music or noise in the background.

I am often asked, “How do you work?” Although I work directly, I do lots of drawing to familiarize myself with lline and spatial manipulation; to know and understand the secrets of each image. In my final act, I have a unique knowledge of seeing each object. It is this unlocking of the object that allows me ease in my ultimate work. Sometimes, I work in series because of the many different ways that things can be seen and portrayed. The serialization allows me to push various ideas to possible extremes. The work usually terminates when it reaches the optimum, in the intermingling of media and idea. It is not ever finished but always seems to have a sense of being able to go further. Trying to attempt anything at this stage could either overwork or destroy the object. Reaching this equilibrium always depends on the artist’s sensibilities.

home | exhibitions | partners | collections | artists | news | contact us | about nagc
events | site map | artistnet | privacy policy | terms of use