Skip to Main Content

Stephon Senegal: When Monsters Tremble

Stephon Senegal

Stephon Senegal.jpg

(Photo: Courtesy of Long Road Projects)

Artist’s Statement

Creolization, at least the American version, was born in southern Louisiana as was I. The threat of melanism created fertile ground for the Creole as both arbitrator and Trojan horse. Hidden and unassuming, Creolization has created a path of infiltration into westernization. This form of subversion advises how I visualize Africanness in its contemporary manifestation.

Black Americana has no discernible ownership of the fantastical nor its own classification. Erasure of the African heroic is a lingering outcome of chattel slavery. Coveted and yet unattainable, the heritage of the African has been assaulted through cartography, prose, scripture, and any exportable invention.

The Creole mythos broadly describes religious folklore from Black and Brown syncretization of African pantheons, Catholicism, and Native American ritual. Participating in the characterization and reinsertion of an African and Creole heroic dogma has become a centerpiece in my practice. Unlocking those visualizations are a key guide for my constructions. The Malian blacksmith and Nihon Manga serve as reference for animal and human figuration in my work. In the Creole tradition, the objects I create are informed by an amalgamated viewpoint in search of a Creolized heroic standard.