Black Masquerade by tylonn sawyer

"3 Graces" Nina

48" x 64"

Oil on Canvas 



"Black Masquerade" is a cult work series depicting a dark, surreal view of black unity.  As a point of departure from portraiture and highlighting the individual, these works aim to show the confluence of collective identity and anonymity

These images feature ascetic African Americans uniformed in black & white, hiding their identity with masks.  The masks cut out images of iconic civil rights activists and artists.  It is my intent that this regalia be viewed as sinister, in alluding to the art direction seen in David Lynch or Stanley Kubrick productions.

Through my earlier portrait work, I sought to "make images that are big, beautiful, and have a vast presence to dispel the sense of 'smallness' people of color are made to feel.”  I am certain that the police have not received the message.

In this current cultural climate, when having brown skin registers as aposematic coloration, how does the black body ever feel safe?  How does the black body project an image of peace?  How does the black body garner respect or be seen as an intellect rather than simply a dangerous beast that must be culled?

I don’t have the answers.  Yet my brain goes to a dark place.  A place where blacks, rather than hide behind masks, use them as armor.  Blacks become a perfectly imperfect presentation of past archetypes, while being prototypes for a new black consciousness.  Rather than rage against the machine, what if blacks learned how the machine worked? How to drive the machine?  How to be the machine?  I believe then and only then will blacks have arrived rather than just be here.

These are the “what if” plot elements of a movie that was never filmed and may never be.  Yet it’s a script I continue to write, in hopes that someday they’ll be actors to play these roles. 


Tylonn J. Sawyer 

Patience by tylonn sawyer

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” _ Meryl Streep


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New Site by tylonn sawyer

Greetings beautiful people 

Decided to upgrade the site.  It's still under construction, so be patient with all the information getting on this platform.  It's cool that the blog will be here as well, for me to drop some of the happenings of my day to day life.  

Thanks for stopping through 


Yo brotha,