Crown Act

By Paola De La Cruz

This piece illustrates the intimacy that comes with hair care and the role it plays in Black American culture. At the focal point of the image is the mother whose hands intricately braid her child’s hair, the grandmother figure stands the tallest and represents ancestral guidance being passed down to younger generations. The action of braiding each other’s hair serves an electric-like current of knowledge and pride. Intergenerational hair care is a form of self-care.

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About the Artist:

Paola De La Cruz spent her most impressionable years in the Dominican Republic alongside the warm sun and singing wind. Upon moving to Boston at the age of nine, she was inspired by the activist movements happening around her.Think of the Romanticism art movement featuring Black and Brown folks; picture ethereal black and brown femmes bathing in the warmth of nature and her motherly embrace. Paola interweaves digital and analog media, patterns, stitching, and shape-based illustrations to evoke intimacy while challenging the themes of cultural identity, coming of age, and Black / Brown enlightenment as revolutionary.

Paola currently resides in Portland, OR.