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African American Marbleization. An Act of Civil Disobedience

African American Marbleization is a series of guerrilla sculptures by Yvonne Shortt. It is her response to oppression and racisms of African Americans in art, history, and her country. The pieces are cast in marble dust and installed outdoors guerrilla style as installations or small sculptures. The fragment pieces typically are installed on underpasses or other cement structures while the busts are often coupled with natural materials like water, wood, and the earth. 

Guerrilla art has no gatekeeper and in its purest form no exchange of money. Commissions can often make this type of work prohibited because so few organizations can support this work in the public sphere.


African American Marbleization is self-initiated and self-funded to maintain the artist's freedom and power, which allows Shortt to sculpt the everyday, not the famous. It is a labor of love. 

You can purchase Shortt's sculpture piece (All proceeds fund outdoor public art), or donate any amount to help fund this outdoor public art project for the community. Both purchase / donation is tax-detectable. See the available sculptures here.

Why Public Art?

One of the most beautiful things about public art is its accessibility. When museums and galleries are closed the people still have the streets. When people can't get to museums they still have the community they walk or ride around in.

Why Marble?

Marble is often associated with glory, beauty, museums and mythology depicted in Greek and Roman classical sculptures (which is one of the most important bases of modern western art). Using this material, Shortt portrays everyday people of color and objects (example: picks used with afros) used primarily by people of color who are at war with a social, economic, and political system that has undervalued their labor and bodies since the formation of the U.S.A.

 

Shortt controls all aspects of her work from the sculpting to the casting in her studio.

Process

Shortt walks around in her community taking photos of different people or collecting images online. Then, she comes home and sometimes creates an illustration based on the people she has collected. Coupled with the illustration and photos she is inspired to sculpt her piece. Then, she creates a mold for her piece. Lastly using marble dust and hardeners she cast her work. Each piece is sanded. The full sculptures are coupled with water and earth often residing as part of a small pond she designs or on a tree stump. The fragments are created to be installed on underpasses, cement structures, or as part of a bigger outdoor installation.

The pieces are Sculpted in clay. Then we make a mold and cold cast using marble dust and resin.

© 2016 by Yvonne Shortt.

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