Scrolling through the feed of Hoekagay, a.k.a @3rd_eyechakra feels like stepping into the realm of Wakanda on steroids. The genius behind the Instagram handle is graphic artist Christian, who, through her art, seeks to represent black people in a way the rest of the world has failed to do before her.
Christian tweaks and edits pictures of black artists and models, making them into some type of futuristic, fantasy cyborgs. It’s an art that requires quite the imagination, and the final result most certainly catches the eye. I was curious to know what the ideas behind Christian’s art were, and she was kind enough to let me in on her artistic process. Keep scrolling to read a contemplative conversation about black pride and representation.
If I were to ask “who are you” – and you can interpret that question literally or philosophically, whichever way you like – what would your answer be?
I’m a black, queer, fat, femme artist. It took me a long time to accept every description of myself so I’m proud to love each and every bit of myself out loud.
What are the ideas behind your art?
I’d say my ideas come from childhood fantasies. I was pretty shy growing up so I was always off in my own little world dreaming of different places, things and ideas. So naturally, it just carried over into my young adult life. I still get inspired I guess in the “traditional” way everyone else does (TV, movies, music, books etc.) But I think I interpret things a bit differently than most. I think my artistic process is both releasing my ideas and also a physical manifestation of self-love.
Would you say that your art is political?
I don’t think its inherently political but to feature nothing but black people and mostly women at that, I think it’s political as well. I’ve been an artist all my life and as my definition of blackness changed with my definition of myself did, my art naturally changed. Back in 2016, I wanted to express my new black femme identity in a different way and that’s how this sort of new wave of art started with me. We don’t see a lot of black people (especially dark skinned black people) featured in a fantasy setting so as an artist it’s my job to give a new perspective and showcase us in a new light.
Are politics important to you?
I wouldn’t say I’m “politically outspoken” really I’m just part of a group whos been disenfranchised and proud of my community. I try and stand up for my community and celebrate us as best I can. I have a personal connection with my femme, black, trans and cis sisters so I draw inspiration from them.
Tell me a little about your Instagram handle, and what the 3rd eye chakra means to you?
Well, I love “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and my favorite episode is the one about unblocking chakras, so it kind of was meant to be. Also, my sister has said, “you always have to listen to your third eye” (your inner voice) and it always stuck with me to listen to myself and love my inner voice; it’s all about giving yourself permission to be free.