The origins of the cosmetic practice of changing one’s skin color for theatrical performances are disputed, but perhaps one of the earliest recorded uses of blackface dates back to William Shakespeare’s, Othello, or the Moor of Venice in 1604. Othello’s character is complex and the story line is loaded with racist connotations, which have arguably influenced how black people have been perceived in subsequent centuries. In the United States, by the early eighteen hundreds, the characterization of African Americans was systematically distorted for purposes of social reclassification and political redefinition. The classic portrayal of a proud though homicidal, general in the Venetian army gave way to the less than dignified buffoonery of minstrelsy. This genre became the “boogieman” that has haunted this country for generations. Now, in this current day atmosphere of openness, we can at long last have the honest conversations that have too often been avoided. In my most recent work I’m examining the effect these images have had on the collective subconscious of the American psyche. The most obvious stereotypical caricatures in this exhibition exist on the conscious level and serve as a starting point for this exploration. The other, more obscure pieces or “Mammygraphs” are abstracted representations of vertical pictographs mapping the distractions, traumas, obstacles, inhibitions, notions and guilt through which we navigate in order to reach the source of our spiritual selves.