For my entire life I have been asked “what are you?,” or “where are you from?,” or “what race are you?” or even “are you full black? “ My responses are usually “what do you mean by that question?,” “New York”, ”human race” and” what does that even mean?” Often I find that those answers are unsatisfactory for the people who asked (even the “New York” response. For some reason people seem to think that I am from California. Or the West Indies). I set out to respond to those types of questions with a concept entitled Mi Familia: Portraits of My People (an invitation to re-imagine community). The three pieces you are viewing are part of that larger body of work. It is a conversation I am initiating about community; about who we call family; about who takes care of us and who we take care of; about how blood is the family you get and friends are the family you choose. It is my visual acknowledgement of people that have touched me in such a way that I can only see them as people near and dear to my heart; my family, my fam, mi familia. My belief is that in order to move forward; frankly in order to evolve as human beings we must find a way to open our tribal and cultural spaces to others and to allow ourselves to be open to different ways of doing and being and, ultimately, to recognize that wherever we go in the world, if there are people there, we can be with family. Mi familia, meet the fam.
Zorn B. Taylor