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Black History is Holy

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

WORDS

The UpRising Editorial Board

2/26/2021



When you meet Marissa Sira, Harlem based multi-disciplinary artist, you meet the art itself. The first time we were exposed to Marissa's art we were speechless. Her work transports us so fully into the world she is creating. Her passion, her story, her very essence is palpable on the page. That's why this Black History Month we invited Marissa to create and curate an exclusive collage series that celebrates our history. What Marissa created for us can only be described, in her words, as holy... that's what we all are, holy.

Recently, we caught up with Marissa to hear about the magic behind the art. What you'll find below is her digital gallery along with her revolutionary thought process behind it. Do yourself a favor and take in these images. Glory will be reflected back to you.





"I'm blessed enough to come from a lineage of Black Love that has lasted a lifetime. Black Love is real. That's what I wanted to get across in this piece (pictured top center). I broke this piece down chronologically, from the first screen kiss that featured Black People, to the significance of Moonlight, and more. I wanted to show Black Love of all kinds. Because it exists."

With this collection, it was my goal to immortalize Black people. This is a love letter to us.





"Cicely Tyson's was the first collage I ever created digitally so it was important for me to bring this to life in a way that felt physical and as royal as Queen Cicely truly was. To me, she was the greatest example of the beauty of aging. She made the life-long journey beautiful. I set out to honor that in this piece."




"To watch these two women (Amanda Gorman and Michaela Coel) is like a dream. Growing up Black, the idea of limitations can be set within you subconsciously. I feel in awe of Michaela and Amanda for surpassing those limitations all the time. I wanted to show that this kind of excellence and success is within bounds for us. I wanted to bring that to life in a physical sense. With Amanda she's centered brightly as the Sun. With Michaela, I just wanted to show her beauty. She is an icon. I wanted to reflect her as such."

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