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Understanding The Art: Skin Color and Superpowers

My work Skin Color is a large endeavor. As I go on the journey to color match 1,000 people. I am surrendering to the fact that this community driven work will take paths that I never could have envisioned.


Last year about this time Henry Johnson Jr. answered superpower to the prompt, My Skin Color Is...

Henry Johnson at Akron Soul Train show in 2023

This response intrigued me, as I had been thinking of ways to decontextualize race in different ways. I searched for different instances where skin color and race were not associated. One of the instances I considered was the super hero Mystique from X-men. Her blue skin color is unique and not related to race.

More conversation with Henry lead to the current chapter of Skin Color; My Skin Color is My Superpower. Beginning session conversations with talk of superpowers allows us to enter a space of self reflection in another way. The superpowers we have and want say something about us and lead us to a place of self-reflection and appreciation.

In addition to the idea of self-reflection, the vivid and bright colors that we associate with super heroes are the same colors I use to create skin colors. The majority of super heroes are represented by the primary colors red, blue and yellow which are the colors I use to create my perfect brown. I am very interested in our associations with these colors and what they represent in our lives.

I am also interested to see where this superpower train of thought leads us as I move forward to Skin Color number 250.

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