Eustace Mamba, (born Manhattan, NY – 7/1992) is a fine artist, photographer, printmaker, and graphic designer driven by history, experimentation, and quality. With a wide range of experience spanning over a decade, Eustace’s commitment to the arts is deeply rooted. Recently, Eustace returned to school as a Fine Arts student in Philadelphia. Eustace is a Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – BFA ’20, and MFA ’22 candidate.
I am working to unlearn the norms and expectations of an academy-trained fine artist. I strive to create a mature body of work that explores the lines between history, post-colonialism, and contemporary black identity. This pursuit has taken shape through a practice of decolonization within my personal life and artistic practice - that is heavily centered around the ideals of artists and writers like bell hooks, Kerry James Marshall, and Arthur Jafa. Many of the artists that have become my most lasting influences were discovered outside of the classroom. My job as an artist of color is to help write a new dominant narrative of black history. I am looking to the recent past as well as the ancient past through personal research, to develop my own aesthetic and narrative in my artwork.
I strive to present new ideas of Black heritage and Black identity - to emphasize the point that no singular Black experience exists. My mission is to challenge and rewrite traditional ideas of what is considered “fine art". To do so, I must create artistically, but incorporate elements of my immediate community and city, Philadelphia, that has inspired, nurtured, and aided the development of artistic perspective.
My counter-narrative has taken shape through experimental sculpture, paintings, collages, textiles, and mixed media design. The practice encompasses much more than these base disciplines - as I blur the lines and continue to learn new methods and techniques - of artmaking. In recent paintings, I incorporate found objects, collected papers, and personal photographs. In some instances, I have sewn canvas into soft sculpture, and in others, I manipulate found objects into experimental design advertisements.
I pose open questions publicly not only to myself, but to my race, and other fellow world citizens. Through the arts we can take steps towards our ideals in diversity and inclusion, it is my hope that my contribution will inspire other people of color to become artists - and fill in this gap in the canon of Western art history.