With the recent shootings of men in the Black community, as well as those in the police force; being represented for who you are instead of what people mistake you as is very important. Jordan Casteel is a woman of color who works on the representation of Black masculinity. Her work mainly features Black men in current times and works as a way to start a discussion on the representation of Black culture in America.
Casteel was born in Denver, Colorado in 1989. She received her M.F.A in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 2014. This fall, Casteel will be an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Newark.
“I remember having this very specific reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin’s trial: I need to start becoming more proactive in making work that directly relates to a conversation I care about and that directly relates to my family members such as my twin, my father, my older brother—the people in my life closest to me.” Says Casteel in an interview with Art Versed.
To some, culture helps bring people in a community together. To others, culture may work as a way in keeping people apart, with the many stereotypes that are placed upon it. Casteel has witnessed many Black men being “seen as villains and hyper-sexualized.” Some of her paintings are of men in the nude to show what clothing can do to reduce a person’s essence. Her other paintings are of men portrayed in everyday society. Each of her paintings are named after the men she paints, most of them she knew from her hometown of Denver.
In a world where people of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities have been misrepresented because of their culture. It is great to know that there are people out there- like Casteel- whose goal is to represent them for who they actually are.
For more on Casteel and her work visit her website:
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