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Bria Erby

Eastern Michigan University

Black Bald Beauties
colored pencil on black paper


Tell us about the work that you have submitted.

Black Bald Beauties embodies six black women who all decided to cut their hair at the same time. This decision sparked a rebirth in confidence and ownership over one’s identity, despite colonized beauty standards.

How do you describe your work and practice?

My work emphasizes portraiture and clothing in black culture. The liveliness of culture, fashion and individuality is expressed through mark-making with colored pencils, while black paper is used to emphasize black people as the subject of my work.

What motivated you to apply to the XL Catlin Art Prize?

My professor encouraged me to apply to the XL Catlin Art Prize. She is familiar with my figurative work and thought my work would be of interest for the exhibition.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on portrait studies of black men for an upcoming project. Influenced by Black Bald Beauties, this project will focus on black men and the importance of their placement in schools.

Instagram | @briaerbystudio