About the Artist
Dana King is a classical figurative sculptor who creates public monuments of Black Bodies in Bronze. She studies the strength and resilience of African descendants and creates pieces made of clay with her hands that are then cast in bronze.
King’s work explores a subversive concept in a traditional form. She rescues everyday Black American heroines/heroes from unjust obscurity and then ennobles their tenacity and courage through figurative sculpture, recontextualizing a medium often used to elevate Eurocentric and white supremacist statuary.
Across countless generations African elders and their descendants have communicated culture, history, and wisdom through storytelling. Dana King continues that tradition in bronze, resurrecting love and truth from America’s buried past. Intense research shapes such memories empowering King to create art that invites people to understand themselves and their lives in a connected and compelling way.
Research is fundamental to her work. When digging for threads to weave together stories of the past, there are historically generalized and racist ideologies that demand a wholesale upheaval of the normative misrepresentation of Black peoples’ emotional and physical sacrifices. African descendants deserve public monuments of truth that radiate their powerful and undying resilience created from a Black aesthetic point of view.
King’s public sculptures are in the Bay Area and across the country. In addition to her most recently installed bronze bust of Dr. Huey Newton located in West Oakland, CA., her life size bronze artwork is in South Berkeley, California, New Haven, Connecticut and at the Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. She also just installed and dedicated “Monumental Reckoning” in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, decolonizing the space as the first African American woman to create a sculptural installation in the park representing the history of African descendants.
King prefers sculptures because they inhabit space and space is power. She believes sculpture provides an opportunity to shape culturally significant memories that determine how African descendants are publicly held and remembered.
King’s sculptures link generations by revealing common threads: shared values, experiences, and aspirations. She knows they help those alive today compare and contrast their world with that of social pioneers, both enslaved and free, whose courage and commitment to excellence helped create modern society.
Equity and justice are integral to Dana King’s art practice.