Paper size: 25 x 20 in.
Tajh Rust creates work that investigates the tension between Black identity and environments. For his piece Vigil, the work is filled with a litany of symbols and visual signifiers that Rust invites the viewer to decode. The subject is situated within the domestic space of a bedroom curled up in the fetal position clearly in emotional distress. The stars on the subjects’ shorts evoke a commentary on the United States coupled with a black swan in the background which alludes to the implicit bias that is ingrained in the DNA of America. A bias that doesn’t seek contend with America’s history with regards to people of color, the violence against Black bodies (particularly in their home – i.e. Breonna Taylor), and complicity to deny the existence of institutional racism in the United States. The juxtaposition between the subtle and overt in Rust’s piece is palpable.