Harmonia Rosales, an Afro-Cuban artist, has gone viral for her oil paintings — her most controversial being her reimagining of Michelangelo’s "The Creation of Adam" which she titled "Creation of God."
The painting depicts God as a black woman, which ignited a lot of attention, including that from stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, Willow Smith and even Erykah Badu. While it received praise from many, it did also provoke some internet trolls.
During her first art show in Los Angeles, Rosales shared that she was shocked because of the negative comments, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"People said, 'God should not be a black or Muslim or anything like that,' and that tells me that what I'm doing is not only what needs to be done, but I need to keep going," the Chicago native said. "This concept is not fact. Why have we accepted this image of God being a white male for so long? We should start asking ourselves why."
Rosales also debuted a new collection of paintings in her first gallery exhibit, Black Imaginary to Counter Hegemony, which was displayed at downtown LA’s Simard Bilodeau Contemporary and featured her recreations of Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" and the Virgin Mary. She also debuted a piece titled "Lioness."
“I used this particular image of Michelangelo's 'The Creation of Adam' to deconstruct the old traditional way of thought. Why not take that same image and replace it with the least represented, which is the black woman? The original concept here is Michelangelo created the hidden message of a brain but in replacing God here as a black woman, you see a womb. So it shows strength and empowerment and that we are more valuable than we think,” said Rosales about "The Creation of God," according to the Los Angeles Times.