Some remember, record, will not allow us to forget our first proud peer into the mirror.
Our first time hitting back against a bad ass bully.
A fist pressed into the air,
an Afro as an attack against the status quo
The color of African night pressed against
carried stories of ancestors told through DNA
unforgettable ancestors encoded things like
“You are not what they say you are”
in the color of the eyes.
“You are from Africa”
in each skin cell
“You are from wealth”
written on big lips
noses and hips wide
long dips in stride
cool hips sway side to side.
Some remember the sway,
the ways those days
were soft to the touch and full of ambition
sweaty with optimism,
funky with faith,
solemn with sacrifice.
Those precious days of African America’s first Sankofa
EESUU ORUNDIDE is one of those people
The people who say Nakumbukah
Who paint Nakumbukah
who are keepers of the time
when we first believed.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Artist I Love
LE: Where are you from?
EO: i was born and raised in L.A.
LE: When did you become an artist?
EO: i been an artist the whole time, my Mama put me in front of a canvas with oil paints before i was two years old and it has been part of my identity ever since.
LE: How did your hometown affect your artistry?
EO: L.A. is way into the aesthetic, they like stuff to look nice and i’ve alwayse appreciated that. also, it’s culturally rich. you can soak up all kinds of flavor growing up there.
LE: What is your medium? LE: How did your medium choose you?
EO: At this point my medium depends on what i’m working on. I work in paint, collage, copper, wood, silk screen on apparel, video, bronze, music and things i can’t think of in the moment.
LE: Who is your muse?
EO: My muse varies. sometimes i do pieces to talk to specific people in my life, especially when i feel like i can’t get through to them by speaking to them directly.
LE: Who is your favorite artist?
EO: Most of my favorite artists are musicians. i think it’s just how i grew up, i took painting and sculpture and things like that for granted. The people who touched me did it mostly through music. i like the revolutionaries, everybody from Fela Kuti to Sly Stone to Public Enemy.
EO: It’s has enriched my family life in one way because i’ve been able to raise my children somewhat outside of the box, in other ways living outside of the box can be like swimming upstream all the time, always going counter to people’s expectations.
LE: What is your favorite part of doing what you do?
EO: My favorite part of what i do is being able to stay in a creative mind set. helps me to see life from a different perspective.
LE: What gift underlies your artistic gift?
EO: The gift that underlies my art may just be the willingness to see.
LE: What would you want everyone to know about you? Your work?
EO: i would want people to know that my work is generated from a place of love, that we need to define and own our culture and realize the value of it’s products.