Until this year, I was not able to give any statement about my work. I am speaking now because my work itself has become my statement.
I have often been very misunderstood because I have a disability. I was born with it, and a lot of people in society don't like people with disabilities. They see us as not wholly human, and don't really allow us to share ourselves with the greater human community. We have to exist within two worlds, neither of which are very kind.
I am speaking now because of my personal accomplishments. As a young man, I have been able to turn disabling barriers into a positive vision. As an artist, I have been able to communicate much about myself and my life. It is good to be a small part of what I believe is a new breed - a breed dedicated in its efforts to replace hopelessness, despair and frustration with dignity, pride and new hope.
I am speaking now because all of this is meaningful to me, art and my life cannot be divorced, ever.
I have been greatly influenced by my father Alvin Roy, my best friend in the world. As an artist himself, he has led me into a world where I can be free to tell the community who I am, without caring whether I am speaking the language of my peers. My father has taught me most of everything I know, even when his own voice was often silenced. He exposed me to art at a very early age, and has impressed upon me that art is essential to my being. He exposed me to many African American artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Akili Ron Anderson, Betye Saar, and Lois Mailou Jones to name a few. He helped me to discover artists outside of the African American community like Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Fernand Leger, and Louise Nevelson. All of these artists have had an impact upon me and opened up new possibilities for my own artistic creations.
My experience at Texas Southern University has been one in which I have taken one more step in my own journey in the world of art. I have gained a world of knowledge from my professors who have nurtured me in ways that has allowed me to feel limitless.
Professors Sifuentes, Brown and Green have prodded me to work hard to overcome my natural limitations. They saw deficits that were not insurmountable, and encouraged me to become a part of the greater art community.
Currently, my work has gravitated between realism and abstraction. I have experimented with many techniques to achieve the images I have created. I love working with the combination of painting and collaging. This technique allows me to really be who I am, and also allows me the freedom to release my energies.
I have always wanted to see, to do, to work, to act, and so much to be.
I have always wanted to be remembered for the imagery I produce. My work has become my statement. Like my father, I choose not to complicate matters. I choose to keep things simple. I want my imagery to be like my words: Natural and Unaffected.
- Ezra Roy