COMPLEXION, explores the historical concept of colorism in the African-American/Black Diaspora. The definition of COLORISM; Discrimination based on skin color. Colorism is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on the social meanings attached to skin color." Contemporary to the “paper bag test,” COMPLEXION focuses on the intersections of Black culture, systemic racism, and the ideal visual representation of Black Bodies presented by the media.
The first iteration of Colorism recently exhibited at The Dairy Art Center, Boulder CO, derives specifically from the 1950s, a time where it was perceived the American Dream was finally introduced to people of color BUT people of color were absolutely misrepresented by the imagery the magazine produced. Unlike today’s Jet Magazine filled with Celebrities of darker skin tones, fairer skinned women of color infused with European inspired hairstyles were deemed most attractive, desirable and complex socially.