Chicago Artist Harmonia Rosales Challenges the Status Quo of Classic Art with Rendition of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” featuring Black Women


”And when you consider that all human life came out of Africa, the Garden of Eden and all, then it only makes sense to paint God as a black woman, sparking life in her own image.” These are thoughts behind one young woman who is going viral for her work that wishes to challenge and establish a counter narrative as to who and what we consider powerful and authoritative.

Harmonia Rosales is a 33 year old artist from Chicago who is gaining notoriety for her work with her now viral piece “The Creation of God”. The artwork is an interpretation based on Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” which is displayed in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. When speaking about her inspiration for the piece she told Buzzfeed “I wanted to take a significant painting, a widely recognized painting that subconsciously or consciously conditions us to see white male figures as powerful and authoritative and flip the script, establish a counter narrative…Replacing the white male figures — the most represented— with people I believe have been the least represented can begin to recondition our minds to accept new concepts of human value”

“The Creation Of God”

Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”

Growing up in a creative environment  (her mother an artist, her father a musically inclined man who played the conags) Rosales states “Kids imitate their parents and my parents were great models for me. I repeated visuals of my mother hunched over her art table churning out illustration after illustration starting with a blank canvas and a vision of a full one. I often would crawl under my mother’s art table and track her movements, her brushstrokes, her ideas, her illustrations. She would let me experiment with all her expensive oils and brushes, never once telling me what to paint or how, but letting me find my own style.”

Her own style is deliberate and carries a reoccurring theme of celebration for women of color. “I paint women darker than me because I want no one to mistake who I’m representing. I paint what I know, who I identify with,” One of most importance, her daughter, who she wants to “grow up proud of her curls and coils, her brown skin… identity as a woman of color, a woman of value”

To sum her up would be to quote her own words found on her website “Art is my weapon in the ongoing battle against indifference and inaction. It forms the basis of resistance.”



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