Z the Rat
"I broke my own heart with a visa," 2021
acrylic and oil pastel on paper, 24"x18", $3,000
Z the Rat (Zeinab Diomande) was born in the US and raised in her family’s home in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa. She returned to the US as a young adult to pursue study in painting and drawing at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has exhibited her work in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Ivory Coast. She explores the theme of mental health and her experience as a Black African woman in her drawings and paintings, which often include self-portraits. With vivid color, patterning, and warmth, Z the Rat reinterprets her own reality in a newly invented and re-imagined abstracted landscape.
Z the Rat writes of I broke my own heart with a visa: "It’s interesting how the notion of home becomes iterative as time goes by. Even 3 years down the line I feel like I am still searching for “home” in a way. First you start looking for a home in the people you know, the people with similar experiences, then you try looking for a home in your environment ultimately, you are constantly gonna be trying to figure things out. It can be a very confusing experience as the urge to assimilate also creeps on you daily. Breaking your heart with a visa by leaving your home in the quest of searching for a better home or something close to it."
I like listening to jazz when I’m releasing things. The title of this painting is a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge to Manu Dibango’s song “Deliverance,” a song that truly feels transformative. Fall is for rest, you blossomed during the summer now you release and rest."