I Want to Make Joy: Maya Freelon Asante

To be an artist in today’s volatile art industry is to embody daring. It is to put one’s personal truth and vision out in the world, to face the whims of changing trends, fickle buyers and misguided interpretations by critics. Yet, to be a successful artist also amplifies the audacity – to go from obscure creativity to the biggest galleries and museums takes a unique level of conviction. Cadillac highlights three artists of color who have ventured to the farthest extent of their creativity and now fully embody the ethos: Dare Greatly.

I’m on a continuous journey to celebrate the beauty of now.

Meet Maya Freelon Asante, one of three profiled successful artists in Cadillac’s Art of Daring campaign who reveal the motivations and meaning behind their unique creative realms.

Maya Freelon Asante’s unique and evocative tissue paper assemblages speak volumes. Sometimes in whispers, sometimes in grand gestures. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including shows in Paris, Jamaica, Madagascar, and Italy as well as being included in permanent collections as varied as the U.S. State Department to Dr. Maya Angelou’s personal collection. It’s easy to see why. To experience her work in person is to be moved by color, the process as well as the end result. The process was born from serendipity: a water leak in her grandmother’s basement soaked a pile of tissue.

“[Maya's work is] observing and visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.”
Dr. Maya Angelou

The bleeding of colors and the abstract patterns spoke profoundly to Maya and would eventually become her signature. As you study her work you discover references to her African American roots in the vintage black and white photos, now overlaid in the rich, vibrant colors of the tissue paper palette that she incorporates into her work. “When I print on top of a photo, it’s like adding color to a moment that I wasn’t a part of but I feel connected to. It’s speaking to the past.” Yet, her work captures the temporality, the immediacy of life. As the renowned Dr. Maya Angelou once lauded Freelon Asante’s work for “…observing and visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” Powerful indeed.

The Art of Daring and The Cadillac Escalade

Deftly combining colors, textures and themes to create something more powerful than the sum of it’s parts—this is artist Maya Freelon Asante’s mission. Cadillac was driven by a similar calling when they created the 2017 Cadillac Escalade. Built on a timeless legacy, the Escalade is the perfect balance of strength and beauty that exceeds your every expectation.

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