[Image description: The following series of photographs depict Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo’s trace monotypes/paintings. The front cover of an artist book with a partial view of the letters “A S / KNE / COC” arranged in three rows on an inky black background. The words “reading me” are inside the shape of each outlined letter. The book is upright and placed in front of a white brick wall.]
[Image description: Two black hands hold open the book on a wooden surface. Inside a checkered box outlined in red, reads: “IT’S FINE / WITH ME / I PAINT MY / HOMELAND ON / MY CHEST / & BLUE PAINT / GETS STUCK / IN BETWEEN / MY NAILS.” The checkered box covers the two pages, but it is not entirely filled in and the letters crash into each other demanding undivided attention. Red checkered boxes cover the upper left-hand corner of the box, no checkered boxes fill in the upper right-hand corner, the bottom of the page is a black checkered box, and the bottom-right corner of the page is a red checkered box.]
[Image description: Two black hands hold open the book on a wooden surface. The page on the left reads out “ASHY / KNEES / COCON / UT OIL” in stenciled red and white letters on a black background, and “OIL THE BLACK BLUE BODY” is written below it at the bottom of the page. The page on the right reads “DARK PURP / LE / RESILIENT / EXOTIC / FRUIT / 1888.”]
[Image description: Two black hands hold open the book on a wooden surface. The left page spells out “LOOK / BACK” outlined in red on a black and white checkered box with “stay back” in red cursive. The right page has a black and white checkered box that is only filled in at the bottom. In red cursive letters within the box: “Why is my body seen as / Why is my body seen as / that way not this way? / the black is looked at & targeted / body / female black body mixed blue body / is killed / this week my body was killed too / many times / LOOKING / BACK / stay back.”]
[Image description: Two black hands hold open the book on a wooden surface. Both pages have the same text, but the text appears on a black background on the left page and a red background on the right page. The text has many line breaks, and the words “STOP KILLING US” are large and pour out of the border of the black and red backgrounds and extend to the top and left side of each page. A smaller sized text overlaps the large text with “TARGET & LOCATE / BODY / MUSLIM BLACK QU / EER LATINX NATIV / E IMMIGRANT P.O.C. / TRANS DISABLED L.G. / B.T.Q.+ LOW INCOME / INCARCERATED REF / UGEE ARTIST.”]
READING ME, 32 pages ( pictured: 4 pages + cover), 7 x 9.5 inches, riso printed, Play Press [Oakland, CA], 2018, Edition of 150.
READING ME, derives from a series of trace monotypes/paintings made for I like the way you look at my brown, black, blue body, I don’t like the way my brown, black, blue body has been historically looked at, a solo show by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo at Lago Projects in Oakland, CA, Winter 2016/17. Thinking about the ways a queer, black, female, mixed body is seen in the world. About using their personal experiences to address the ways our bodies are looked at, targeted and treated in the larger community and society as a whole. The first part of the title, celebrates and shines light on the incredible ways that we create communities that support and see us in the truest forms of ourselves. The second part reflects on the terrible ways that our bodies have been perceived, devalued and mistreated historically, and currently. That balance, those polarities and differences, are seen throughout the work in a variety of ways; in black and red checkers, in bold next to delicate text, in sweeping gestures next to hard lines.