Vanessa German

2 ships passing in the night, or
i take my soul with me everywhere i go,
thank you, 2014

44 x 35 1/4 x 13 inches
2 decorative ship models, doll parts, cloth, twine, fear, hair grease, tar, love, skateboard, white beads, homewood beads, rhinestones for the eyes, mirror, antique blue ticking, the ocean, slavery on an everyday basis as made real and present by the reality of white supremacy, righteous clarity, keys, coffee tins, stomach mirror, old jr. navigators flashlight, white porcelain doll heads from the bombed out doll factories in germany, the journey from rage to understanding, the journey from compassion for everyone else to compassion for myself, the journey from lies to truth, the actualization of justice as national migration, old natty quilt parts, pain, and horror and how it feels to know that no one is actually on your side, being blamed for it, pure lard tin, red skateboard

man in the moon biscuit box or,
journey from the 5 dimension,
alla my homies along for the ride, 2014
50 1/2 x 25 x 15 1/4 inches
man in the moon biscuit box, doll parts, decorative boat, information on the middle passage and the trail of tears in my bones, in my bones i say!, souvenir figurines to puton your mantle place to let alla your black friends know that you're down with the cause- or have been to Africa- or, at least willing to acknowledge the present presence of Africa- what kind of negro are you? moon faced party noise maker, made in japan chicken on the head, skateboard, mirror, the migration of the human soul as told by theentire human genome, decorative bird, paddles for the journey, stars in the night skies, blood done signed my name, by timothy tyson, holiness riding down through my fingertips, tar, plaster, plaster gauze, mike browns' brown body, so many things to, "get-over", rhinestone for eyes, red, white, blue, black pigment, cowrie shells, 2 open mouths as handles to get a grip on this piece, wood, pain, rage, cloth, twine, the inclination to just. rise up, and fly, homewood beads

my migrating soul with the prize blue ribbon or kick push kick push, 2014
47 x 50 x 19 inches   
old doll parts, toy noise makers, the sound of my neighbor running out of the house at 5am and screaming, wood, tar, old scrappy quilt, my mother was a quilter, cloth, twine, reproduction political buttons, a short national memory, rage, homewood beads, american eagle book end, huge sea shell from the ocean, ceramic elephant, bottle caps, keys, buttons, tears, rhinestones for eyes, cowrie shells, mirror, ship on the head, toy cow, toy cart, coffee tin, match stick bin with a tiny little gun in it just in case this sculpture needs to protect itself along the journey, hope, interconnectedness, a beautiful hairbrush, american legion pin, glass bottles, toy gun, baby shoe, beads, grandma's old jewelry, faith in the transformation, something about the power the power the power of love, and a small bird cage that plays music
Play Things, 2014
38 x 10 x 18 inches

Black face bottle opener, the shape of getting on to go on, the power of the creative spirit reflective in the liberating hairstyles of young black women, racism, the pain of living with injustice and being always expected to just smile, and take things, and make nice, and act like since we all know that it exists-- it's just ok, porcelain figurines, skate, carved wood foot as ashtray, propellor, black box turned upside down, american flag made into tiny doll clothes, cowrie shells, mop head as petticoat, button christmas ornaments as hair adornments, liberty through everyday creative expression, love. love. love and more love

Artist Statement
“there is love here. (here, as in, in my work) there is healing here, there is road to recovery here, there is transformation here, there is history here, there is appropriation to truth here, there is beauty & a pointed finger here, there is recognition of genuine brutality here, there is recognition of complicity & complexity here, there is a reclamation & transformation & transcendence here.” - Vanessa German

Artist Bio
VANESSA GERMAN is a visual and performance artist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Her neighborhood of Homewood is the community whose words inspire German’s powerful performance work, and whose cast-off relics form the language of her copiously embellished sculptures. These enigmatic child-figures, literally and figuratively rebuilt from the fragments of other children’s dolls, are at once seers, protectors, gatherers and keepers of the family secrets. German draws inspiration from the Kongo "Nkisi" power figures, Mexican iconography, and the many potent, tragic, and stark realities of present day life. Drawing upon the richness of black experience, her work simultaneously engages a cross-cultural tradition of encrusted bodies, whose ritual functions point to the cycles of birth, death and rebirth.

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