July 31 – August 26, 2022 RECEPTION Sat., August 13th 6-9 pm.
Sponsored by the Irving Art Association at the East Gallery of the Jaycee Park Center for the Art, 1975 Puritan Dr., Irving TX 75061. Gallery hours: Tuesdays 10:30 – 3:00 pm; Wednesdays and Saturdays 1-4 pm.
Artist Statement: Justin O’Keith Higgs
I developed my own genre of art called Selcouth+Meraki. Selcouth is defined as unfamiliar, rare, strange, yet marvelous. Meraki is called the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work. I have taken the genres, photography, creative makeup, body art, costume design and styling and have combined them into something groundbreaking. Instead of having a large team doing all these items, I am a one man show.
I use humans as my canvas and apply my paint to create them into living, unique pieces of art. Once washed away, it will never exist again. Each piece is custom tailored to tell the story of my model or to make a very strategic societal or political statement. The mission of my work is to start conversations on very sensitive topics. I want my audience to understand that while we as a society focus on the things that make us different, in the end we are a lot more alike than we wish to admit. I use my work to platform the adversities faced by people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community and other groups that are typically marginalized and not given a voice.
My work brings a glimpse into our world and the challenges we face as people living in America. My mission is legacy building. To create pieces that long after I am gone, they will continue to live throughout time and inspire generations to come. My motto always has been and always will be “Unapologetically Provocative.”
Justin O’Keith Higgs was born in the small East Texas town of Jefferson, Texas on October 17, 1984. He holds his Bachelor of Science in Sociology (2007) and Master of Science in Human Resource Development (2015) from University of Texas at Tyler. He received his Juris Doctor from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2010. His chosen mediums are Photography, Creative Makeup & Body Art, Styling, Costume Design & Fabrication. He has created his own genre of Selcouth+Meraki, which combines all these talents. He has won numerous awards for his work, been featured in many local television and internet shows, and published in many magazines, including the May 2021 edition of Men’s Health Magazine. In addition to art, he is a Texas Licensed Attorney specializing in Labor & Employment Law. He is also an avid dancer, a former member of the NBA’s only All Men’s Dance Team, the Dallas Mavericks Mav ManiAACs. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas with two eight-year-old French bulldogs Gia Marie and Jackson O’Keith. Justin is currently working to attend Harvard University in the Fall of 2023, pursuing a Master’s in Education with a focus in Education Leadership, Organizations and Entrepreneurship.