Suomo is a 31-year-old queer, self-taught Gabonese-American artist living on unceded Abenaki Land, otherwise known as Vermont. Coming from a long line of powerful Femmes and healers, Suomo also proudly recognizes her art as a continuation of her deep-rooted medicinal and spiritual heritage. Although her primary medium is paint – most recently acrylic – Suomo considers herself a multimedia artist and creator determined to explore the Black queer experience in all its forms, emotions and bodies.
“Enough” 14×17”. Acrylic on canvas
At what age did you learn that you weren’t enough? This was the question going through my mind when I was painting her. When people see her, I want her to ask them, “What would it take for you to feel enough in this world?”
“The Things She Carried” 14×14”. Acrylic on canvas.
To me, this painting speaks to the protective nature of humanity – the act of self preservation as a way to survive. She wants to tuck herself away so nobody harms her, but what does she lose in the process? What do we lose when we hide ourselves?
“What Did They Take From You, And How Did You Get It Back?” 14×14”. Acrylic on canvas.
I was 15 the first time a man stole my body from me. This piece is an act of reclamation for all Black femmes who’ve been robbed of their bodies. I make my body mine through my creations – through knowing what I have is sacred and cannot be stolen. Through her I ask – how do you reclaim what was stolen from you?
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. 14×14”. Acrylic on canvas.
I once read something on Instagram that said: “If Black women were actually given the chance to sleep, I don’t know if we’d ever wake up.” I believe this woman expresses this exact feeling. She says “I’m tired, but I must keep going.” I wanted to express the stoicism that society requires Black femmes to have in order to survive, regardless of how tired they may be. I want the audience to look at her and go, “Wow, she’s a badass,” and I want them to consider the reasons behind why her regal stare – the stare that belongs to all Black women.
“See Me” 14×14”. Acrylic on canvas
Connecting to someone’s emotions – feeling someone’s soul – is an act of the heart, not of the brain. It takes more than eyes to truly see someone. This piece was my attempt to feel seen without being seen – to see myself and glimpse into my soul.
© Suomo Snook, Artist Biography & Artworks | behance.net/suomo89