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"I hope people will question the status quo. I hope that there will be even more questions they demand answers to." - Delfin Finley

23-year-old Los Angeles artist Delfin Finley’s hyper-real portraits leap off the canvas and hit somewhere deep and pensive. On the occasion of his first solo exhibition at Lora Schlesinger Gallery, which runs through August 26, 2017, he reflects here on racism and its multifarious impacts on people of color.

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In each painting I feature the image of a person of color. Each person has his or her own personal issues, yet we have something that will forever bind us together. We are linked by the instances in which we felt not in control of our present, much less our future. We are judged by the color of our skin and are the victims of brutality and hatred. It limits our spirit and too often ends our lives prematurely. I painted each person with that wearing heavily on my mind.

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The first piece I painted captures the essence of what drove me to create this collection. My father represents all men of color, who through their mere existence cause such a hateful, violent reaction against them. He holds a shovel in his hand, in what appears to be a gesture of inevitability and hopelessness. The [work's] title, It's Only a Matter of Time, speaks to the danger that we, as black men, face on a daily basis. Do I pick up a shovel and help society prepare my grave? Or do I raise it in defiance?

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I hope people will question the status quo. I hope that there will be even more questions they demand answers to. And most importantly, I hope that it makes everyone rethink their own biases. We have a choice on how we address the injustices we all see happening around us. Wake up and demand change where change is desperately needed. We all have the power to make a difference. Once we see and acknowledge what is really going on, we can no longer turn a blind eye and refuse to see again.

More info about 'Some Things Never Change' here.



Jamie Brisick is a writer, photographer, and director. He surfed on the ASP world tour from 1986 to 1991. He has since documented surf culture extensively. His books include Becoming Westerly: Surf Champion Peter Drouyn’s Transformation into Westerly Windina, Roman & Williams: Things We Made, We Approach Our Martinis With Such High Expectations, Have Board, Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and Snow, and The Eighties at Echo Beach. His writings and photographs have appeared in The Surfer’s Journal, The New York Times, and The Guardian. He was the editor of Surfing magazine from 1998-2000, and is presently the global editor of Huck. In 2008 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He lives in Los Angeles. For more of his work check out & @jamiebrisick