Christina Graland Joseph was born in Los Angeles, October of 1990. She grew up in Southern California studying painting and drawing from a young age. At 17, she attending college at Maryland Institute College of Art where she learned ceramics, performance art, and installation. She graduated in 2012 with a BFA in sculpture. After graduating, Christina became involved in the art scene in Baltimore both with local galleries and community outreach. During the years following college, Joseph mainly focused on her performative works, performing at Baltimore’s Light City, Fields Festival, and local galleries. Despite growing up in Los Angeles, Joseph’s southern roots highly influence her work, aws well as black artists such as Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, and David Hammons. Joseph’s work often surrounds themes of identity, black hair, and beauty culture. Joseph moved back to LA in 2017, where she now lives and explores these themes with ceramics.Statement
I once encountered a racist object at a small antique shop in Kentucky. I had seen these figurines before at my aunt’s house, but in this scenario, it felt much more sinister. It was a petite ceramic mammy with bright white eyes and broad red lipped smile. I picked it up. Studying it further, I came to understand that this object held a very intentional purpose. This tiny figurine was created to intimidate, incite fear and control. I started to have a visceral reaction holding it; something deep inside of me understood it's bizarre likeness as a threat. I was both intrigued and repulsed.
The vast majority of black people represented in ceramics are these triggering caricatures that are more a perverted fiction than a reality. Even still, they are majorly impactful. With my work, I strive to subvert this image; to tell a new story created out of revelry that showcases the richness, the beauty, and complexity that I understand to be black culture.