Angela Hennessy 2017-11-10T20:20:13+00:00
Angela Hennessy
 hennessy_magical negro pussy1
 hennessy_magical negro pussy3
Magical Negro Pussy 1
2014
copper, paint, framed
9″ x 12″
Magical Negro Pussy 3
2014
copper, paint, framed
9″ x 12″
 Artist StatementMy aesthetic is a collision of illuminated marquees, stitched textile samplers, sheela-na-gig sculptures, ‘show your pussy’ blogs, and black hole simulations. Language provides a platform to flirt with notions of visibility, agency, and exploitation within discourses of art, erotica, and pornography. Straddling the tension between sight and touch, inner space and outer space, mortality and pleasure, my work engages mythologies of blackness in both celestial and terrestrial bodies.I use black as an indication of mourning, erotic potential, and racialized identities. Velvet, velcro, athletic tape, and copper are chosen for their implications of sexuality, sports performance, and industrial utility. Works are hand pierced with needles and backlit by LED panels. Low relief ‘drawings’ in sheet metal are formed by traditional techniques of repousse and chasing. My
processes and materials engage in a kind of slippage that arouses the desire to touch, to understand not by logic but by tactile experience from one body to another.This sexualized mythologies projected onto the black body by 1900’s colonial displays still informs the biases and assumptions of desire and desirability today. The history of misrepresentation has left little room for black female sexuality to appear as anything other than excessive, deviant, or illicit, and sometimes, sweet. Phrases like “the blacker the berry, the sweeter the cherry” from the 1929 novel by Wallace Thurman speak to the eager consumption of the black female body as forbidden fruit.

In the words of historian and author, Paula Giddings, I am asking myself “when and where I enter” in the conversation of race and sex in contemporary art. This project offers a counter narrative that brings together critical analysis and embodied experience by inserting my own queer black feminist voice.