B. RAEL ALI THE ARTISAN

My title B’Rael Ali is an affirmation that I use so that I always remain conscious of my spiritual identity and purpose. My purpose being a creative force sent from the cosmos, a bringer of truth.  I was born on the south side of Chicago and I have lived much of my life in the urban City. I am a graduate of Southern Illinois University of Carbondale achieving a BFA Painting and Drawing. I am also a spoken word artist. My artwork and poetry are infusions of urban life, history, and social commentary. I believe that knowledge of self is the true answer to anyone’s individual struggles because gaining it has improved my life tremendously. My artwork and poetry serves as a form of education, displaying the lessons and philosophies that help me during my struggles in order to help others through their struggles as well. Art is my language, Art is my way of solving the problems of today in order to create a better future.

 Much of my artwork features dancing figures. Dance is the physical cultivation of the Spirit through mental release and rhythmic processes. Dance historically, and contemporary is a large part of African and African American culture being used for ritual purposes, ceremonial, as well as social. My artwork depicts those traditional uses of dance through 2D drawings on paper that are enhance with acrylic paint and pastels. I use the dancing figure as a creative vessel to express African American culture and issues. Through compositions designed from the figurative image of the dancer, I compose narratives that describe the African American experience, largely addressing identity, reconnecting African Americans to their African ancestry. The collaboration of symbols new and old creates the persona of "Afrofuturism" in my work, allowing my art to become ritual.