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Chocolate vs. Porcelain

Chocolate vs. Porcelain explores the framing and societal perceptions of brown skin. The artist questions the naming conventions commonly used for makeup foundation shades. While lighter shades are often given names like "porcelain," "ivory," and "snow," darker shades tend to be labeled with food-related terms such as "caramel," "chocolate," and "mocha." Though seemingly harmless, this linguistic disparity perpetuates the culture of Black women being seen as products for consumption.

In Chocolate vs. Porcelain, the artist uses her own face to smear Too-Faced foundation in the shade "Caramel" onto a porcelain plate and a porcelain sink, presenting two different interpretations of the same skin tone. The makeup on the plate is reminiscent of chocolate, whereas the same makeup in the sink, visible only when looking down, suggests dehumanization and degradation, with the brown shade perceived as dirt or something unclean.

The plate is hung at the artist’s height, a metaphor for the fetishization of brown skin, while the sink installation forces the viewer to look down, mirroring the dehumanizing gaze often cast upon people of color. Chocolate vs. Porcelain serves as a checkpoint, asking viewers to question their own perceptions and biases regarding brown skin tones and challenging them to confront any underlying assumptions or prejudices they may harbor, consciously or subconsciously.

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