Jesse Howard’s work explores the Black American community as more than a singular philosophical concept of a culture, but rather a more diversified community of multifaceted voices through a body of charcoal based works. Howard’s socially concerned work is informed by his own lived experiences growing up on Chicago’s West Side and the collective societal challenges faced by Black Americans today.
His work is laced with emotional, social, and political concern towards Black communities and folks who are often overlooked or neglected. Although this is evident in his work, his figures are presented at such a scale that they are elevated, monumental, and dignified.
“I often return to my old neighborhood to record images of the people there. My figures are typically distorted to reflect the pressure and anxiety individuals feel inside and the perceptions and expectations imposed upon them by society,” he said.