reimagining the traditional/old school mermaid tattoo.

-zk


reimagining the traditional/old school mermaid tattoo.
-zk

#carefreeBlackGirl No.1

-ZK


#carefreeBlackGirl No.1
-ZK

Oldies but Goodies…

Browsing through my files I found some of my older forgotten favorites. 

For the Japafronese Art Exhibition at West End Tattoo& Art Gallery in 2009, we explored cultural play/appropriation between Japanese and Black people.  My pieces all featured black women as central figures, displaced as they may have seemed. 

They were all created in photoshop, using my pencil drawings, the paintbrush tools, and a graphic drawing tablet. 

image

image

Then I came across my very first afro pin-up from circa 2006. I still love her dearly. I remembered thinking on the urban pin up, old school pin ups, and realizing they werent very far-off at all. Its just some browner bodies weren’t allowed to be the girly, dainty, innocent pin ups. This is where my exploration of black and afrolatina beauty tropes, stereotypes and exclusion, began.

I started with a pencil drawing, as i always do, and filled the colors in with the photoshop brush tool. I didnt have a graphic drawing tablet then so I did it with a mouse. It was pretty tedious but it set the ball rolling. 

image

At some point I began doing commissioned portraits as well. Circa 2008-2009, I was hired to create this portrait of a lovely ladys beloved, lovely mama (watercolors on paper). 

image

Then around 2010, I started putting the pin ups in my head, out into the material world via photography. It felt like i was making magic. Being from the Bronx, NY and a barrio in the Dominican Republic has made me question the boundaries of acceptable womanhood in our society. I love this photo because afrolatina Kat is dainty and fierce and confident, amidst graffiti and grit. Its the kind of face and nuance I couldnt find in standard pin ups. This is one of my first on film. 

The amazing Christine Bourie at Total Recall Vintage styled this shoots wardrobe, on my art direction. 

image

My dolls make me feel warm and gushy inside so I quite enjoyed the trip down memory lane. 

Hope you enjoy, too. :)

-ZK


"afro lady head"

tattoo flash design

-ZK

[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pin up, ladyhead, black pinup, afro pin up, ladyhead tattoo flash]


"afro lady head"
tattoo flash design
-ZK
[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pin up, ladyhead, black pinup, afro pin up, ladyhead tattoo flash]

-ZK

[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pin up, afro pin up, black pinup ]


-ZK
[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pin up, afro pin up, black pinup ]

fuckyeablackart:

Yemoja by ~KellysDolls


fuckyeablackart:

Yemoja by ~KellysDolls

"beach girl 3"

-ZK

[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pinup, afro pin up, fat black pinup ]


"beach girl 3"
-ZK
[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pinup, afro pin up, fat black pinup ]

"40s & Fascinator Hats"

-ZK

[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pinup, afro pin up, black pinup, 40oz ]


"40s & Fascinator Hats"
-ZK
[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina pinup, afro pin up, black pinup, 40oz ]

Just wanted to thank everyone for their love and support and update you because alot of you have been asking what i am up to. :)

Ive been in the process of some big life changes and relocation, working on a number of different art and writing projects and continue to take pin-up commissions. However, my main focus has been tattooing lately.

Got alot of newer work to post, which i will likely be doing in the coming weeks. 

Hope youre all having a marvelous spring. 

Thanks again,

-ZK


empoweredafrolatina:

Our very first Empowered Afro-Latina, Zahira Kelly! and the artist behind the avatar we chose for this tumblr! Zahira is a TREMENDOUS talent, I absolutely love that I can see myself in her art and photography! Love her work to smithereens!

Thank you so much!!! <3 <3

(Source: kellysdolls)


empoweredafrolatina:

Our very first Empowered Afro-Latina, Zahira Kelly! and the artist behind the avatar we chose for this tumblr! Zahira is a TREMENDOUS talent, I absolutely love that I can see myself in her art and photography! Love her work to smithereens!

Thank you so much!!! &lt;3 &lt;3

la caribeña. feat. the beautiful haitian/puerto rican alfre lopez. shot and styled by moi.

-zk

[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afro pin up, black pinup ]



 the gritty pin up….. feat. the gorgeous afrolatina kat p in miami. styled by christine bourie of total recall vintage. shot by moi.

-zk



"criolla trovadora, al reverso"

-zk

[image description: zahira kelly,  afrolatina art, latina pinup, dominican art, afro pin up, black pinup ]


"criolla trovadora, al reverso"
-zk
[image description: zahira kelly,  afrolatina art, latina pinup, dominican art, afro pin up, black pinup ]

"dominicana americana"

-zk

[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina art, dominican american art ]


"dominicana americana"
-zk
[image description: zahira kelly, dominican art, afrolatina art, latina art, dominican american art ]

"the things a black girl’s gotta do to have some fun".

i got the idea for this when i saw a young lady i love joke (not so jokingly) about getting a gun so she can wear booty shorts in peace in the hot summers. sadly, i know many of us can identify.

and i thought, geez. the measures women of color have to take just to be able to look and dance however they want, without having their personal space and autonomy violated.

-zk


"the things a black girl&#8217;s gotta do to have some fun".
i got the idea for this when i saw a young lady i love joke (not so jokingly) about getting a gun so she can wear booty shorts in peace in the hot summers. sadly, i know many of us can identify. 
and i thought, geez. the measures women of color have to take just to be able to look and dance however they want, without having their personal space and autonomy violated.
-zk