My current body of work revolves around my personal identity as an African American, split between two identities of being American and African. Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the nineties and coming of age in the two thousands, my work is a direct response to my generation and the uniqueness of being black. Growing up in a generation raised by the television, the main source of my inspiration is derived directly from MTV and Nickelodeon. These TV channels were conduits for my two biggest influences, hip hop and cartoons. Rap showed me what it meant to be black, and cartoons showed me everything else. There are many driving forces behind the work, such as the idea of narrative, simple but relatively complex composition, and the contrasting and relating of materials to one another. These are some of the ideas I have floating in my head when trying to compose a piece.
Not everyone feels comfortable discussing race and what it means to him or her, and I for one am clearly in that camp. My work is an outlet for the ambiguity I feel towards race. The construction and application of materials reflects my partial assimilation of American culture. My work reflects a mix of many components all collaged together to make one collective identity that is composed of several different elements but held together as a unanimous entity.
Devin Troy Strother received a BFA in 2009 from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, California.