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I’m Cocoa Rae. I am a Rochester based visual artist, curator, content creative, photographer and business owner of By Cocoa Rae LLC.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Essence Artist Statement
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Portrait shot and painted by Kaylah Dixon

Painted by Kiante Habersham, Tilly The Artist 

There was a time my friend told me about a racial encounter she experienced. I was so upset about the situation; I decided to create a portrait series that would be a creative sanctuary to Black,POC,Femme, LGBTQ+ and marginalized individuals. From this project, I learned that a safe space needs love, appreciation and understanding as the foundation.

 

This series gave my models a visual voice to express themselves in any way they saw fit. Pigment Series is a collection of mixed media artwork that consists of vivid colored studio lighting, semi nude photography and body painting. The series originally started five years ago on January, 26th, 2017 in Charleston, SC during a time when racial tension and terrorism towards Blacks and POC were at a high.

 

I photographed over 100 people and collaborated with local painters; some who were musically, visually talented artists, schoolmates, strangers, family and friends in Charleston, SC and Rochester, NY. Each portrait captured the true essence of a person and their existence. I wanted to capture a wide range of people from different racial backgrounds and experiences. In 2019, I was given an opportunity to talk about this series at Allendale Columbia School Tedx Talk.

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Transcendent
Model: Christina
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Exodus
Model: Rashaad
Painted by Alaina Wainwright 
Location: Rochester, NY

00:00 / 01:45

I Rise
Model: Karmen
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

00:00 / 02:00
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Juxtapose
Model: Christopher
Painted by Asa McDonald
Location: Rochester, NY

Progeny
Model: Tyia
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Contour
Model: Khari
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

00:00 / 03:34
00:00 / 05:18
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Black Martyr 
Model: DaMarius
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Purification 
Model: Katrina
Painted by Taryn "It's Aartthing" Tarver
Location: Rochester, NY

Indulgent
Models: Danielle & Mason
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Rochester, NY

00:00 / 00:38
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Eccentric 
Model: Tilly
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Velocity
Model: Ayana
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Rochester, NY

Urban Gypsy
Model: Taylor
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

00:00 / 01:47
00:00 / 01:55
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Celestial
Model: Lunna
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Eminent
Model: Erica Jae
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Rochester, NY

Transfigure
Model: Kiante
Painted by Kiante
Location: Charleston, SC

00:00 / 02:18
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Zenith
Model: Afi
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Rochester, NY

Transient
Model: Jude
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Tribe
Models: Sabrina, Asiah, Samira
Painted By Cocoa Rae and Samira
Location: Charleston, SC

00:00 / 01:02
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Charisma
Model: Ashley
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Metamorphosis
Model: E
Painted by Asa McDonald
Location: Rochester, NY

Strange Fruit
Model: DaMarius
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

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Felicity
Model: Deja
Painted by Najay "Halo Boy" Quick 
& Taryn "It's Aartthing" Tarver
Location: Rochester, NY

Resplendent
Model: Royal
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Charleston, SC

Archetypal
Model: Sade
Painted By Cocoa Rae
Location: Rochester, NY

00:00 / 01:40

Terraqueous
Models: Ozzy & Stefeni
Painted by Dewayne "Drumwerk" James
Location: Rochester, NY

SPECIAL THANKS

Adam Eaton 

&

Rochester Artist Collaborative(RAC)

Flower City Art Center(FCAC)

(For the two year residency)

Finger Lakes Community College(FLCC)

(For the two month exhibition )

Charleston, SC Community 

Rochester, NY Community 

IN MEMORIAM

Dakari"Kari" Brown

Todd "Tre" Tremaine Elliot Jr.

Andrew "Toucan" Gardner

DONATIONS

CASHAPP: $CocoaDavid

VENMO: @Cocoa-David

PAYPAL: @cocoaraedavid

"I'd rather write my own history books, where the world don't give a fuck 'bout how you physically look."
-Mac Miller

"Why do you think they put art in museums?

Because beauty should be shared with the world"
-Tamaki(Ouran HS Host Club)

"People tend to listen when they see your soul."
-Toro y Moi

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