Black is Beauty

Rita Benissan

2018 - Ongoing

My Black is Beauty

I am a Ghanaian American artist. My art and research celebrate African and Black Aesthetic while exploring my cross-cultural background and identity as both an African and an American woman. I consider myself a narrative photographer. My art engages the mediums of painting, printmaking, textiles, and photography to explore the narrative of being Black.

I am exploring the concept of the “Black Aesthetic” and how we, Africans in America approach blackness in a western society. My home was influence by my parents’ Ghanaian culture, which is my foundation as a Black woman. I create my own fabrics to embrace my own aesthetic, along with using the royal umbrella.

Symbol of power is the Royal umbrella. It is used to protect and shade the King, Chiefs, and Queen mothers. The umbrella in my art as well as looking at the sovereignty of the Black Aesthetic. Through self-portraiture, I reveal parts of my body as a way to broach my own Blackness. The scars that are left on my body are from a life of surgeries.

This makes me who I am. I am breaking down the personal stigma around my body. This process is therapeutic and has given me a chance to see my own Beauty and


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