Gracieux Baraka: The States Project: Idaho
I first saw Gracieux Baraka’s work at a local art venue in Boise called LED and later made the connection that he was one of the people in Angie Smith’s Stronger Shines the Light project. While we were chatting about his work, he told stories of growing up in Kenya, watching old black American films, dreaming of what it might be like to be a black man in America and how that influenced his artistic style and fascination with color. I am pleased to feature his work that shows his unique style, story, vision, and perspective of a refugee making Idaho home.
Gracieux Baraka is a Congolese born, Kenyan raised American visual artist. He moved to the U.S. about 7 years ago and has been residing in Boise, Idaho ever since. He works with the medium of video and photo. His work focuses on color, paying homage to his favorite painters and other visual artists that inspire him. Instagram: @cognitivadissonantia
Being a refugee, I’ve had to move from place to place, varying in culture, color and inspiration. As I’ve moved from place to place, I’ve had the opportunity to experience life in a more unique and transient way. Though chapters of my story may be heartbreaking, I have adopted essential impressions of each new place, making them a lasting part of my accumulated identity. These impressions have amounted to a distinct kaleidoscope of vision which is not only integral to my sense of self, but also to my creation of art.
Art has been in my life for a long time, acting as catharsis, entertainment and mental exercise. For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to recreate the art I admired. I started with drawing a child and gradually picked up photography in my mid teens. Photography and video has been my chosen medium to display my desires, thoughts and ideas to the world. With rich colors and light, I make my vision clear and beautiful.
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