David Moog (b. 1944), Iris Kirkwood, 2015; Archival inkjet print, 20 x 15 inches; Gift of the artist, copyright David Moog, 2015
Buffalo born African American artist Iris M. Kirkwood creates artwork that presupposes a history where African Americans had never been slaves. She mixes elements of the short story; setting, character, point of view, with color and line. She draws or digitally paints images to create new dreams and memories.
A student of life Iris has chosen as her theme – Emotion. With the use of facial and body posture she portrays joy, pathos, humiliations, humor in her Visual Narratives. The materials she uses to create these visual narratives are the pencil, pastel and whiteout on buff colored card stock or beige manila file folders. Though file folders were created to safely store information in, Iris finds it interesting to use this as a material to draw on. Symbolism plays a large role in the work she creates. Symbols can be found especially in her digital paintings. Where the pencil drawings Iris creates uses color sparingly with pastel, her digital paintings rely on color to enhance the works emotional content. Her desire is to have the viewer see an interesting visual that causes them pause.
"I create visual narratives that speak to the little moments in life. Those times of loss, pathos, joy, humor, fear that in total illuminates the life of living beings. By acting as though African Americans had never been slaves, I am free to make new dreams and memories without the constraint of history." -Iris Kirkwood