“Against the grain” by Johnnie Trice

by Johnnie Trice

Finally comfortable doing things my own way

Artist Statement

Humanize the Numbers was an opportunity to express to the public that I am more than the “perp walk” images from over 30 years ago. Those images represented me at my most impulsive, self-centered, irrational and diabolical. This presentation is a small, yet accurate glimpse into the person I am today. The central image, The Creator, is the declaration of my having evolved from known murderer to known artist. The three smaller pieces are a representation of my life before I committed the unfortunate crimes that led to my incarceration, the tragic act itself, and my path to understanding why I made those fatal choices. Lonely Pawn is symbolic of my being a black child forced to live in a white world, battling forces greater than myself. 1/11/85 is the date I thought murder was the solution to my life’s problems. Each of those bullets used on that date has cast a long, dark shadow upon so many lives. Art, along with the long and painful path of self-discovery and self-acceptance, has led me to a sense of peace about my past, present and future. I am at the dawn of a wonderful life. The remaining photos are about me in the here and now. I am a prisoner on the outside to everyone I cross paths with inside the prison’s walls, yet with my friends beyond the razor wire, they know the person. The art supplies are my reason to live. I am totally okay with doing things just a little differently. The final photo is me unguarded and enjoying the moment! The student had been recently ill, yet still made it to our workshop. I was having a little fun with her!