Kay Reese


I am a visual artist and photographer. I am also the great, great grandaughter of Hestor Lodehost, a formerly enslaved Georgia Black woman, emancipated in 1863. My assemblages, sculptures and digitally collaged photo-based prints brim with intellectual curiosity, and social consciousness. In 1999, I witnessed the killing of Amadou Diallo, an innocent African immigrant in the Bronx. Shot 41 times by NYC police. This refocused my practice to seriously probe the intersections of race and power. Later, I learned of Hester Lodehoest, her great, great grandmother, a formerly enslaved Georgia woman emancipated in 1863. Today my work challenges commonly held supremacist narratives driving race, gender, social justice, human rights, consumerism, and so-called freedom. My practice of collaging original photographs with researched historical images and objects create surreal landscapes that juxtapose gender and race-based nostalgia and “reality.” By assembling and/or disassembling these materials, images, and objects I aim to deconstruct and disarm their power. And, to nullify their meaning to the systemic cultural, historical, psychological “inevitabilities” of our common social DNA driven by supremacist ideologies. My work is hopeful, suggesting the potential for the creative restructuring of sustainable personal and social-democratic outcomes.

Selected Works