I’ve always been amazed by the biblical story of Adam and Eve. It’s what inspired this series. As a fine arts photographer I often struggle with subjectivity and objectivity. I create art not for self nor singular or linear perspectives but for its interpretation to be as vast as the viewers that will view my work based on the facts presented; objectively. Of course I knew the day would come when my representation of art would hit the wall and I would have to decide if I’m going to turn back or break it down and go through it.
My first major problem was deciding the representation of Adam and Eve, no matter the race I choose I figured there would still be persons who would not be pleased with such and that’s something I could live with. I set out to do some research based on my most apparent (would be) issue; the most likely race of Adam and Eve. Many of the scientifically backed articles point to the fact that either Adam was of dark skin whilst Eve was light-skinned (based on how genes work) or vice versa. Some even alluded to the possibility they were both middle brown with a certain gene variation to create a multiplicity of races, but that it would have been highly unlikely for both to be two white persons or two black persons because gene sequence couldn’t create the races/skin colours we have today.
I sat back in my chair after hours of researching and thought to myself, what am I doing? Race isn’t even the issue here, there will be no undertones, but I had allowed preconceived notions of the would be effect to filter my thoughts and my art, something that has never before affected me. I closed the tabs of my browser and paced back and forth in my study; My mind went off, “This is art and it has to be represented one way or the other; black, white, brown, yellow, what does it matter? Why do we have to be safe? We are one race and that’s the human race, no matter the colour of our skin, width of our nose and texture of our hair.” But I knew what lingered in my mind, for some would cling to the negative and detract from the message I would be portraying.
The message always comes first, everything else is just peripheral to it. I accepted such and so I created. Fast forward to weeks later after the shoot was completed, I posted the first few photos to my Instagram and surely the (would be) controversy ensued. “Why is Adam Black, why is Eve white?” It went on and on in different contexts. Majority of it was overwhelming support but a few were seething, which frankly I understood as it comes with the territory.
The key in the art of creating is not about pleasing people, because if you do such then it’s a reflection of a subconscious levy that has already been applied to your mind. Art is freedom to express, create with your humanity as your compass and choose your battles according to the portrayal of your message. I choose mine and it paid off.
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