travis BIO           01FEB08
     for Center On Halsted
- mississippi flower garden


travis is Black/Native American, born in Itawamba County, MS 23SEP46.  MA (Art History/Northwestern Univ.).   He is also a Vietnam Veteran (USN 1963-1969), and currently serves as Vice-President/Treasurer of American Veterans for Equal Rights/Chicago Chapter.   AVER supports Chicago’s veterans who are also gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.   In 2007, Mayor Richard J. Daley inducted AVER into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

According to travis:   My work is based in the following disciplines:   Painting; Installation; Sound; Live Art/Performance Art and Design.  I focus on performative approaches to race, gendered space and colonial objectification within the historic Itawamba, MS shotgun shack community.   Black cultural institutions show, unmistakably, that assumptions about Majority phallocentric supremacy testify only to the ability of a fragile Black identity to devour itself. Black cognoscenti presuppose that decolonization must repudiate some “primitive” perspective, like Europe is the baby daddy.  

If, indeed, conflict is the heart of all art, surely Black art aspires to a unique definition of art, including materiality, subject matter and perspective.  It may also aspire to a unique history of art, as “art for art sake” is not a traditional value in the Black community.  And, finally, if conflict is, indeed, the heart of all art, Black art must change ideas about art collection, art museology and forced assimilation.