Strange Fruit, 2019 by Mario Joyce Belyusar, Painting: Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. (121.9 x 121.9 cm)
“Strange Fruit” was made in response to black men dying by the hands of police and white supremacy. It is my intention, in this piece, to take back that narrative and memorialize the countless black bodies that have risen and now navigate a higher plane.
Mario Joyce Belyusar is a self-taught African American artist living in New York City. His artistic process began early and was heavily influenced by religious and racial prejudice experienced in rural Ohio. He began using both genealogical research and paint to further understand and share the social history of discrimination. After a moving to New York City, he is furthering his studies in the African diaspora and how American History is steeped in selective storytelling that neglects to share the experiences of marginalized communities. His work is characterized by vibrant colors, strong line and heavy texture. A collage of vintage materials is typically apart of his process. Mario has exhibited his work in many group exhibitions, including most recently at Local Project and Departure Studios in Queens, New York City and Bellevue College in Seattle, Washington. His work is privately owned by many collectors throughout the U.S. “I collage vintage materials as a background for landscapes and figures in oil paint that create an open dialogue with our Ancestors.” Mario is specifically interested in the African American experience and social injustice within the Black community. His work is intended to create a bridge between our ancestor’s experiences and our familiar contemporary existence. He is specifically interested in the African American experience and social injustice within the Black community. He believes that without an understanding of our past, we have no real grip on the present, so his working process begins with genealogical research.
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