Leonard Galmon

I love Black people.
I want to see ’em painted in a way that resonates with me. So I make the paintings. I try to re-present what I see in their faces, the histories I feel when I look at theirs and my own skin. This is why I emphasize and exaggerate the color-complexity of Black skin.
Race, like all ideas, is a construction of society. African skin was racialized as Black. I always found it odd that I’m “Black” when my skin is actually brown.
I’m interested in how color and Blackness is talked about and conceived of in casual conversation. Imagery has the potential to deny or affirm realities, question assumptions and reiterate the assumed. I’m interested in ‘what is assumed to have been seen’ when people look at Black skin.
Black skin is colorful. Hues of brown can become a yellow or a purple. Melanin interacts with light and colors are transformed. I am interested in the ways these colors can be expressive and how colors can materialize a person.
My portraiture is about my relationships to people. It’s about my relationship to looking. And it’s about my relationship to looking at people.