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Art / Tierra Armstrong
Miami based artist Tierra Armstrong creates from a place of self-exploration. Her work aims to explain the relationship we have with ourselves and the world around us, through an array of human emotions. Growing up between three continents, and never quite fitting into her environment, she creates art that aims to make people feel understood and appreciated.
She has been exhibiting her art, since 2011, in places like Somerset house, (London, UK), Victoria and Albert, (London, UK) and has standing pieces in Museo del Juguete Antiguo México (Mexico City). She partnered with festival Soundset, to create a housing piece for Nipsy Hussle (Minnesota). Recently partnered with Museum of Graffiti in (Miami, Wynwood) to create the first black lives matter mural in the city.
Tierra: Colors are my biggest Inspiration, I wouldn’t even start to conceptualize a painting until I’ve decided what colors I’m using to create it. Colors are one of the first things your brain registers when looking at something and different colors evoke different emotions. I like to think about how I want the viewer to feel when looking at my work and go from there.
A lot of my work speaks to duality. I like for my subject to display an element of femininity and masculinity. For them to be strong but delicate. Also, nature plays a huge part in my work as it adds a grounded element that’s very important to me. I often like to get away and spend time in the forest, by the water just to reset myself from city life. So its only be natural that it shows up in my work.
Morphed (3/5) is probably one of my favorite pieces as it talks about the relationship black men have with themselves as well as the world around them through my lens obviously. Constantly having to reinvent themselves to find the version that feels most authentic while shedding the labels and expectations that are placed on them from birth. I wanted the man looking at this piece to feel understood and liberated.
MURALS IN MIAMI:
Art can be a very isolating process where the art lives with you while you’re making it then it gets sent off to a gallery somewhere or to your client that’s already familiar with your work. I gravitated towards murals because it gives your work a chance to live out in the public to be digested by the masses as well as bring not only vibrancy and color to the community but something that makes people feel embraced and loved. That’s why I like for my murals to have subject to them, tell a story, relay a message. This piece in particular was done for a business that has been heavily involved in advocating for equal rights in the black community for a long time. So I wanted to create an ode to some of the figures that have inspired the owners through their journey as well as the figures that have meant a lot to the community that the mural resides in. It’s seeing people’s eyes light up when they walk past that fills my cup. To see figures like Fred Hampton immortalized sends a message that the work you do for your community transcends death. None of their hard work went in vain.