Niesha White, “Deer”
Niesha White “Eloise”
Niesha White, “Bottom In Drag”
My name is Niesha White and I am the daughter of an ex-Mormon hippie mom and an ex-Muslim hippie dad who raised me in the sea-salt air of a fishing town south of LA. After surviving a cross-country relocation, I ended up rooted in the beautifully strange spiritland of Brooklyn.
When I was small, I trusted art to be my companion. I knew, in that bold knowing way of children, that I would be an artist. But, just as knowing develops layers and confusing corners with experience, my artist identity bumped into various obstacles. What I have learned, however, is that each time I come back to my artwork, there are trace elements of whatever I have experienced while I was away. My art, therefore, carries hints of all the stages of my life, from magic realism to political activism, from modern dance to linguistic exploration.
Most recently, I have been working on a series of wood burnings and paintings which I call masks. This series, which uses animal heads on human bodies (and vice versa at times), is an exploration of how identities can change in stages of one’s life or even due to a new situation. The following narrative was written from the perspective of one of my pieces:
She was straight up fierce once, all boots and dreams. But the spin of the clock and a few unexpected outcomes had worn down her dreams into new shapes she kept mistaking for ordinary objects. Even her boots lost their shine. But what choice did she have but to live that way, waiting between breaths for a big bang shift of perspective.
On a random day in snow covered January, the tilt that she would later refer to as the ‘new beginning’ occurred. A casual downward glance is all it took, a realization that the subtle sexy sag in the seams of her tired boots made them more beautiful than ever. Then, like the slow relief of a late night aspirin, she began to see bits of glimmer in the corners of her dreams again. Packing this new view of herself, now masterfully woven from the reeds of who she had been, she picked up the mask and took her first grown-up swagger into ‘I can be anything’.