My Magic Brush by Florine Demosthene

In our weekly feature, we ask artists to describe the one tool they couldn’t do without. Here, artist and designer Florine Demosthene tells us about the wonders of using a magic paintbrush.

Florine Demosthene’s fluid, often mystical works bring in to question stereotypical and two-dimensional notions of the black female body.  Born in the United States, the artist grew up between Port-au-Prince, Haiti and New York. Her exhibition The Stories I Tell Myself is currently on show at Gallery 1957, Accra.

“I purchased my magic brush in a small art supply shop in Vienna. It has this strange puffy base and an elongated top; it is just very awkward and I had never seen a brush like it. It doesn’t fit into the standard category of an artist’s brush and I wasn’t even quite sure how I would use it in my studio, but I knew from when I saw it that I had to buy it.

Most of my artworks are created by pouring inks onto a sheet of drafting film. As the inks mix and dry, I blot different areas in order to create layers and depth. This process involves me using my magic brush to push around and manipulate small puddles of ink into tiny areas on the sheet, as well as controlling the chemical reactions of the different types of inks. I try not to interfere too much, I just allow this reaction to be part of the work.

My magic brush has become the perfect implement in that it allows me to float the ink at the base of the puddles. I am able to access all the crevices and corners with ease. I am so glad I bought it all that time ago back in Vienna—I haven’t been without it since.”

Florine Demosthene: The Stories I Tell Myself

Until 6 May at Gallery 1957, Accra