This is a soft pastel on paper original artwork, number 5 in 11 of the series named 'The Dance'. It was created in honor of the Black Lives Matter 2020 civil rights movement. I made this series to celebrate the black lives that have and still is contributing to the art of dance. Her unique contribution to the world of dance is immense. Baker often performed naked, I hope that the artwork captures this and some of the free wheeling nature in which she chose to performed.
#5 of 11 is dedicated to Michaela dePrince. Originally from Sierra Leone, orphaned Michaela was adopted by an American couple. She dreamt of becoming a ballerina so with hard work and talent, in 2012, at seventeen, she became the youngest dancer at Dance Theatre of Harlem. Currently, Michaela is a member of the Dutch National Ballet. She said regarding systemic racism within the ballet industry "if a director does not appreciate the aesthetics of African beauty, he will not want to promote a black ballerina to the status of prima, because the prima is supposed to be the most beautiful dancer. She represents the aesthetics of classical ballet, which right now are Eurocentric."
Please note: I have colour adgusted the vibrancy of this artwork in the photo, in order for you to be able to better appreciate its details. To get a better understanding of the actual artwork please watch the video that shows its actual colouration which carries more muted tonalities.