Listen to artist Tavarus Blackmon discuss his work by clicking “play” above.
Artist Tavarus Blackmon exhibits under “Blackmonster,” a surname that speaks to his work’s exploration of challenging themes, such as fatherhood and identity, gun violence and growing up black in America.
“I want people to think about not only the importance of family,” he said during a recent interview at Verge Center for the Arts in downtown Sacramento, “but creating a political climate where we don't have to worry about young people being killed in school or or in the street by police officers.”
Blackmon, a recent MFA graduate and Provost Fellow at UC Davis and current resident artist at Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, creates work across a variety of media — painting, video, digital and printmaking — and balances lively imagery and colors with somber issues like gentrification and debt.
“The work has serious repercussions,” he said, “[but] I think I also want it to be playful. I want to have a middle ground where I'm not telling people what to think, but providing them an opportunity to reflect.”
The opening reception of Blackmon’s “Exquisite Diversion” is Friday, February 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, VergeArt.com. It’s part of a double show with “The Amazing Black-Man,” artist Kumasi Barnett’s interpretation of the Marvel Comics’ character.