Zsudayka Nzinga


Mixed Media on canvas (decorative paper, thread, Ankara fabric, acrylic)




Artist Statement

I am a mixed media artist and designer. I consider my studio practice to be cultural anthropology in that I aim to capture and archive through my work the history and culture of Black Americans. I’m very interested in what happens when Black American artist work and narratives are included alongside American art without requiring the Black artist to center their identity in trauma or politics and whether the sight and existence of Black faces is enough to make our work, voice and existence inherently political. My works seeks to normalize the day to day of Black Americans and celebrate culture while also highlighting moments shared by all humans. We all sit in the house, we all water our plants, we are all living an existence with more similarities than differences. My work challenges viewers to include Black stories in American stories. Told through the lens of personal experience, I use acrylic, decorative paper, hand dyed paper, linocut stamp, ink, vinyl, marker, metal, fabric and thread to create images of proud and beautiful people who celebrate who they are.

I am intrigued by images of men, particularly Black men in leisure situations. Not having to use their identity for political messaging. Exploring the many ways that masculinity and relaxation exist together. I saw this image in a plant group of a man in an outdoor shower in his travels. He was sharing the plants with us but all I saw was the perfection in his figure. The nudity, the eye contact, the intensity. Its beautiful but I love how he was not trying to be sensual at all. Its more about self-love and celebration of a moment of peace and choosing himself. The figure is painted acrylic and sectioned with thread. I’m venturing more into the full vision of my pieces as quilts. You can also see how the Ankara fabric uses the white in its pattern to indicate the reflection of wet hair.


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