My name is Joseph Cuillier. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. Grew up in Houston, TX, and I’m an artist with The Black School.
The images I used are all archival photographs from black history. And I’m trying to draw connections between what I view as like radical black educational spaces. So looking at the panthers and the history of Oakland community schools and the liberation schools. But also looking at how black Muslims created recruitment spaces within prisons and how prisons are also a place where black politics but also just black education happens because the populations of prisons are so full of black people.
And another one of the images was a photo of a young girl holding a photograph book that looks self-published, like she made it herself and drew on it with crayon. So also calling back to how black history is often told through these archival photographs. And how we come to know about these black radical movements through like their imagery and their style. So like the black leather jackets of the black panther movement but also like the Sundays best suits and dresses from the civil rights movement. So also how black portraiture is also a pedagogical space.
So the painting on the wall or I’m referring to it as a painting is really like a digital print on fabric, is inspired by black radical movements and how they use style as a pedagogical space to teach about their politics. So I’m trying to make my own take on painting. I didn’t grow up with art in the house but I grew up with style and fashion in the house so I’m trying to take the skills that I have from my own experiences and enter the world of painting.