Lawrence L. Deacon: Blvck Noise, Colorism and Addiction
Lawrence L. Deacon adroit artist explores something deeper than melanin in Blvck Noise illustration
‘Pretty Hurts’. It becomes wincingly clear every day that we still differ, not by scale but in skin tone. Ever so often, we are flogged with the idea of “light is beautiful” and “blackness is corruption”. This constructed view maybe heavily influenced by slavery, making the standards of beauty absurd and distorted. Over the past decade, the tripartite soul hopes that the world has changed – but not enough. The pain fueled by colourism or shadeism are cut skin deep and is rooted in self-hatred — the defeat of oneself.
Coming to grips with colourism and trying to find acceptance can create noise within the black population itself. Fortunately, black young visionaries are using their artistic prowess to dismantle colourism in the black community, through riveting art. For some artists, the idea of blurring the lines between abstraction and figuration in an art piece may fail miserably. But, for other artists such as Lawrence L. Deacon, it may work brilliantly. Lawrence L. Deacon has successfully managed to capture the mass attention once again with his recent illustration Blvck Noise.
‘BLVCK NOISE’ was inspired by the issue of skin bleaching in Jamaica. I wanted to explore the psychological and physical impact it has on the youth in Jamaica through art. I have observed that there’s an increase in skin bleaching which can lead to depression, drug abuse and even death among teenagers in the black community. They struggle to find their self-identities in a world of chaos. To lighten your skin becomes a trend and, it’s glorified. As many might say, “it’s your skin — live your best life.” – Lawrence Deacon
Like connected constellation dots, the perception of beauty, colourism and addiction are depicted in BLVCK NOISE. The illustration is presented as an abstract face, with its colours and elements are cunningly broken down to convey emotions in a non-linear fashion. There is a lot of movement if you pay keen attention to the lines. In this abstract piece, the viewers are taken on a journey through the artist’s thought process. The journey begins with a blue pigment, looking almost as if it was made from lapis lazuli stone and ends in the most intense red ochre. The route of aesthetics meets form vs function, especially in this piece. Intrigued by its raw beauty and energy, it makes one appreciate the imperfections of the deeper meaning beyond melanin and scale. The use of space in this piece will bring you a sense of depth, and value which gives life to the art piece.
“In the black community, it seems so much easier to tear each other down rather than empowering ourselves. I believe that we are all caught up in one situation of colourism far too long— there are many other issues within our community especially among our youth that needs more attention. Adults are busy trying to compete and measure up to the complications of life. And, in the meantime, we have our adolescents paying the cost of not having enough mentors to offer guidance about a life choice.”
Woke’. The embedded insecurity that exists within the black community creates a colour hierarchy that continues to separate us. However, with illustrations such as BLVCK NOISE, the audience is introduced to a heightened state of social and cultural awareness. In the artist’s opinion, if these issues are not addressed, the problems we now face will multiply dramatically in the future.
I am not interested in physical awards. Honestly, I would be marvelled if one day our perspectives as youth will change and we are able to see that we are the future and embrace it.”
– Lawrence L.Deacon
BLVCK NOISE, Limited edition released November 12, 2018, under Lawrence L. Deacon illustrative brand Delawness on Saatachi Art.