ARTIST STATEMENT | PAPADU
I am interested in the exploration of the deviations from consensus reality that occur during the use of psychoactive substances, as well as, and perhaps, more importantly those that accompany severe mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder. While in altered states, the observer’s experiences deviate from the norm, in various ways, ranging from auditory and visual hallucinations to severe and debilitating delusions.
It may never be possible to fully convey the complete nature of the experience of the neurodivergent to the general population; however, this is exactly what my art attempts to do. With digital painting and image manipulation, I use various techniques to distill, warp and often complexify once recognizable forms. The accumulation of these manipulations produces affects that can be viewed as approximations of visual illusions and the abstractions of psychological delusions. My work seeks to address the full gamut of the altered experience, from ineffable elation and sublime ecstasy to crippling fear and incapacitating rage.
Having grown up in a West African household, I am also greatly influenced by African Art and sculpture. As a child, looking through books and pieces contained within my own home, I observed the dynamic forms, exaggerated features, geometric patterns and attention to detail that characterize African art. My work also seeks to give a fresh and insightful two-dimensional take on these traditional characteristics.