Art: ‘Robbed and Recreated’ by Dorian Grayson

This piece placed third for high school art submissions in the Ánimo Voices Writing and Art Competition, which invited students to consider a change they’d like to see in their community or the world and to convince an audience, through any genre of writing or visual medium, of the importance of this change. The competition was an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.

ART3 - Dorian Grayson - LKE

Robbed and Recreated Artist Statement

I made this piece because too many black people are ashamed of their culture,
background, and history. A lot of that is due to the lack of knowledge. So many people
feel the need to hide their blackness.

(from left to right) The goddess Isis kneeling, immediately to the right are 3 pyramids
with a huge silver ank behind them. Then there is the eye of horus toward the top with a
sphinx under that. This is followed by a bookshelf and 3 torches. Then there's a
drumming man and to the right of that there is a noose and cotton plant. From here,
theres Africa painted with the colors of the panafrican flag, a saxophone and trumpet
above that, then a fist, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Huey P Newton, a speaker,
disco ball and a microphone, and I am at the end looking back on everything. All of this
is on an eggshell background.

I wanted to show that black culture and history is rich and doesn’t start with slavery. It is
something to be proud of. You must know and embrace your history to be completely
comfortable in your identity.

The most challenging part was trying to find the perfect shadow color for Muhammad
Ali. I have trouble painting straight lines and this made painting the bookshelf extremely

It was surprisingly easy for me to put these symbols in the right place. I feel like the
board is harmonious. I think I chose the perfect background color; it brings everything