I'm Mahari. I'm an artist and a curator living and working in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve been playing with art since I was small. It’s easy because making is really fun and freeing. I think it’s magic. Fundamentally I myth-make. I paint, mark, sing and dance sometimes sharing what I record. My work is rooted in a black feminist cosmology I choose to guide my survival and spiritual maturation.
I am the 2019 - 2020 recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship. I am the 2020 recipient of the Visual Arts Center Emerging Artist Award, and I keep a daily journal. I religiously read Black Women writers like Tananarive Due, Octavia Butler, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, & Ntozake Shange. My Mommy's my best friend, and I love soul music - folks like Earth Wind & Fire, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Sade, & Alice Coltrane. My practice is my salve; liberatory magic medicine making. I bear the weight of being well, well.
The shadow personifies everything the ego does not acknowledge.
Aroya is an abstraction of a recognizable subject rendered in such a way as to distance it from reality while deeply communicating its essence. Naturalistic images endeavor to summarize the observable or recognizable features of the physical self. Aroya conceptual images are concerned with the essence of the subject; the metaphysical self.
As a Yoruba incantation puts it : the eyes will never fail to greet the beautiful.
The affective power of any given work of art depends on good composition, symmetry, clarity of mass, relative thoughtfulness of posture, meticulous delineation, relative luminosity and delicacy yes, but how does the work capture soul?
Awoyanu : food for the eyes - that which causes the viewer to gape as if manifested by such an incredibly high artistic (creative source) skill as to suggest the use of the occult. To be Great Spirit's vessel is my dream.