Abstraction is employed to liberate the black woman’s body from its intended function as an object of beauty made valuable through its proximity to men, or as an object in constant need of improvement that strives towards western standards of beauty that it will never be able to meet. I use the backgrounds, the folds in the fabric, their skin, and the products they're selling like paint. By doing this I don't allow the viewers to visually consume these products and ideas; I put them in a position to consider these women in the advertisements as autonomous people, with a capacity for transformation, restricting the impulse of the viewer to consume these women with the products they sell.

I recognize the powerful history of consumption that preys on people's feeling of inferiority as the base given to me to work from. But more than that, I emphasise my ability to use it to my own ends by celebrating humanity through the elevation of black women’s bodies in all forms. I challenge the way I and other black women navigate in the world, and hack the tools given to us to achieve personal fulfillment.

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Dana Robinson is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist who combines, reproduces and deconstructs vintage materials, found objects, and paint to address the topics of youth, black female identity, ownership and nostalgia. Robinson has exhibited in the US and abroad, and her work has been written about in It’s Nice That, New York Magazine’s Vulture, VICE, and Ain’t Bad, to name a few.

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