Mamma Mia

In light of the focus on recent events perpetuating racial and gender-based tension in the States, it’s become clear that pure demagogy will not improve the conditions of the maligned, the silenced, and the forgotten. It has also become clear, however, that there is a new generation of activists on the rise who prefer to contribute to their society through creation and collaboration, one whose members want to etch their names so deep into the annals of civilization such that no societal tide can erase proof of their impact. And I am beyond thrilled and honored that many of these talented stars reside here, in Pittsburgh. 
Meet Tamia “Mia” Johnson, a passionate woman whose artistic leanings spotlight the Afro woman from a beautiful, colorful, whole, non-fetishized perspective. Starting with the breaking down of colorism prevalent in many American Black communities, Mia aims to unify Afro women by celebrating all forms of beauty and shared culture. Indeed, much of her art features women with different skintones and features, all connected by intricately colorful ‘fros of different shapes and sizes. And armed with a pose reminiscent of Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” cover and a paintbrush, one cannot help but feel like this is just the beginning for Mia and her message.

“My art is a visual representation of my mind and soul. I paint to spread the beauty of African American women with my own twist; the way I view the beauty in us. I see black women as beautifully vivid and diverse creatures, so I find myself painting the Afro ladies of my imagination. Afros full of color and various objects to represent the depth implanted in black culture or even in the woman underneath the Afro. My colored people are colorful and vivid in soul and spirit and through my art I try to show that. Through my art you see my vivid imagination.”

 – Tamia Johnson

Artist & Model – Tamia Johnson
Photography & Styling – Khadijat Yussuff
shot on Nikon D3200 w/ 18-55mm lens

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