Marcus Hill

Dream of Beauty

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watercolor and acrylic, 2020, 30x22"

Artist Statement

I grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia as an African American. My work relates to the experiences I’ve had in life, like the time a cop asked me to leave a park because he believed that I didn’t belong there, or the time I was part of a fashion show showing off African apparel. I show the parts of my life that gave me some type of feeling, one of belonging or in some states a sense of not belonging. I want to be openly inclusive with my artwork: it’s not meant to single anyone out but to invite people to try to understand how I feel. I use an illustrative style in hopes of connecting with as many people as possible. I use the style of comics and cartoons, because they can get a message across by making a harsh topic relatable. Because when a subject is too harsh or real, people tend to look away or avoid it.  

As black male living my daily life I’ve had to deal with people making fun of my skin or saying I’m too dark or not dark enough. I’m great the way I am; I don’t see my skin as a flaw– every stretch mark, scar, even my weight all make me who I am and I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I aim to make art that takes what people sees as flaws and shows beauty in those flaws.

I create work to help people feel comfortable by sharing my experiences of growing up. I want to expresses happiness, loneliness, confidence, or humor. I want people to laugh or cry, to feel connected to my work. I make art to communicate in a form stronger than words, and to bridge one another.