The Black Woman is God Artist Interview: Latisha Baker

Mission Accomplished - NFS

“Mission Accomplished” by Latisha Baker. Pyrography & acrylic on reclaimed wood.

What did your process look like for this particular body of work? Was it different than your usual process?

I am primarily interested in the plight of Black women, and the history of this struggle. Black women have a tendency to think that we are not enough, and it is this problem that I address using wood. I want Black women to understand that they don’t have to be everything to everybody. They are enough just as they are. 

If you wanted people to take away one idea from your piece, what would it be?

Belonging.

How/when did you first get into pyrographics? Is your fascination with stories linked in any way to the age of wood/trees?

I love working with reclaimed or recycled wood. I like the character of it, and the story it has to tell before I even touch it. Alternatively I work with red cotton watercolor paper. As a writer as well as a visual artist, I love and appreciate the act of sharing a story on a surface or with words.

Why do you think an exhibition highlighting the contributions of Black women is necessary in the Bay Area today?

Black women today are under-represented on so many platforms. Through my art I wish to validate all human beings, and I feel a calling to make sure underrepresented voices are heard. To have our images seen and appreciated, and our experiences validated, is what I base my art around.

How has your personal experience influenced the type of work you enjoy today?

Art is how my body and mind heal. What I create speaks to the pain I experience, as well as how I communicate with others. When my work resonates with people, I feel connected to them and empowered by myself. When people interpret my work differently than how I would have expected, I appreciate this as well because it opens a dialogue. When I have an image or idea in my head, it is always flexible. I create ideas, but I don’t own them. My work is fluid.

About Latisha Baker:

Latisha Baker is a self-taught pyrographic (firewriter) artist, who utilizes woodburning, a primitive technique on reclaimed and recycled wood to create her work. She captures stories through visual interpretations of life in honor of the human spirit. She exhibits her work and lives in the Bay Area.

About the interviewer:

Olivia Reed is a rising senior at Oberlin College, originally from The Bay Area. She studies English and Studio Art, with figure painting/drawing as a favorite medium.