Artist: Douglas Balentine | Location: Charleston, SC
Oil on linen
20" x 72"
This piece, titled Cargo II, fuses my interest in portraiture with the larger thematic context of the beach scape (specifically the contemporary populated beach). This piece is part of a larger body of work set at Sullivan’s Island, S.C. “Cargo” is a double reference to the ever-present container ships as well as to the sitter, an African American woman who, chosen for her unique beauty, represents her ancestors brought to this country, literally, as cargo. My emphasis on the natural beauty of the light and environment as well as the sitter and the casual nature of the beach-goers contains, through this reference to slavery, however embedded, something fundamentally at odds with appearances.