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Why SWEAT?

Mendi Lewis Obadike

I am an intermedia artist and cultural critic based in New Haven, Connecticut.

I created SWEAT to give attention to art being made today. Sweat is the labor in art and sweat is appreciation for the work. SWEAT is a discussion of my engagement with the work I come across and of the artists' concerns if I know them. I will also address my own concerns about what I create in the context of other artists.

I am particularly concerned with the question of identity and how that is read onto the work of black and/or women artists. I have been asking myself what it means to want to be understood as making 'women's art' or 'black art'. To what extent do we have agency over how the idea of 'black art' or 'women's art' or 'black women's art' is read into our work?

That said, I am writing here about any art, any concept of or concern related to art, that gives me pause or pleasure.