Game Face

  • Game Face #1 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #2 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #3 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #4 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #5 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #6 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #7 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #8 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #9 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #10 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #11 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #12 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #13 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #14 Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #15, Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #16, Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
  • Game Face #17, Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
Game Face #1-17
Game Face #17, Digital InkJet Print, 8" x 10", 2012
Game Face #17, 8″ x 10″ Digital InkJet Print, 2012

Throughout the contemporary African diaspora, there is a way that many Black women put on make-up when we mean to mitigate the impact of Western controlling images of Black women as hypersexual and fit only to entertain or labor in domestic spheres. This make-up demonstrates knowledge of and intent to negotiate white-defined spaces to potentially increase our economic and social mobility or maintain economic and social stability. We know that when we enter those spaces that we are subject to a gaze that is not our own and we respond with a ‘respectable’ visage that specifically eschews cosmetics and accessories associated with lower socioeconomic Black communities.

In photographs that are similar in style to ‘before’ and ‘after’ make-up sequences, Game Face confronts this narrative of respectability to challenge the idea that this ‘look’ conveys and consolidates the appearance of authority; although it appears to simply enhance her, it eventually masks the individual and replaces her with the ideal.