Jombi Supastar
Earthly Delights
pencil, paint, glitter on paper
(detail) © 2009

I’ve been enraptured by painting ever since my father took me to see work by Henri Matisse when I was a boy. Seeing works by Bosch, Blake and Basquiat in museums or galleries is vastly more wonderful for me than seeing them in reproduction. Even work you would think would reproduce well, like Walker’s or Haring’s; I find far more compelling in the original.

My own work is often narrative in nature, exploring the realms of the subconscious, the nether worlds and the sphere of the nature spirits. I think of my art as an expression of the multi-dimensionality of perception, and of the many-layered nature of my spirituality and sexuality. I seek to make my images dense and complicated, like life. I see no reason to limit myself to paint alone. I take a child’s delight in glittery, shiny objects. They excite me. I want my work to communicate that sense of excitement, and to create excitement of its own.

Jombi Supastar has shown his work at galleries in Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco. A radical faery, he was the first African American to serve as a steward of the Short Mountain Sanctuary in middle Tennessee. He now lives in Berkeley, California where he was recently awarded a grant, with Alwyn de Wally, to produce an installation piece for the National Queer Arts Festival in The United States this June.