T Eliott Mansa, lives and works in Miami, FL. Mansa received a BFA from the University of Florida (2000) and an MFA from CUNY-Hunter College (2018). Mansa uses materials from roadside memorials, applying practices from African Diaspora sculptural traditions. In questioning the efficacy of political art making, he looks to apotropaic art practices to memorialize, protect and defend Black Lives from state and extrajudicial violence. Recent exhibition venues include LnS Gallery and David Castillo Gallery in Miami, FL; Rush Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; and Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, MD. Mansa’s work is in the permanent collection of the African American Museum of the Arts in DeLand, Florida.
T Eliott Mansa was selected for his work, “Singing and Marching with Yesterday’s Coffin on their Heads,” exploring the status quo and socio-political agency within our communities.
T. Eliott Mansa challenges and questions the efficacy of the role of the artist as a change agent. Mansa’s assemblage, paintings, and sculptures incorporate found materials in a way that subverts their original intent, reimagining them as apotropaic objects. The works act as a memorial to honor African American victims of state violence, as well an acknowledgment of the necessity of Black Death in the foundation of Western political and economic hegemony. His work incorporates the aesthetic of amalgamation found in grassroot roadside memorials, visionary Southern vernacular sculpture, and the West African practices of nkisi nkondi and bocio sculpture making. Mansa’s intention is to trigger the radical imagination of viewers, encouraging them to subvert the status quo and find socio-political agency in their own communities.