Jérai Wilson is a digital, sound and mixed media artist working primarily in painting and digital imagery. Her cultural interests are directly influenced by African-American life and pop culture. Her artistic work embraces and celebrates the communities in which she grew up in. Studying at Cornell her work has transformed over the years. She is currently interested in transforming space through the careful curation of installation and sound.
The series, What is Your Name? is an ongoing and deeply personal project by artist Jérai-Doris Wilson. With the number of pieces created being indefinite, the four current works are named What is Your Name? 1-4 respectively, in order of completion. Initially beginning in the form of a print [which has three other editions pictured here] two years prior, Wilson revives from their hiatus from the series with a journal entry, which then prompted them to create the following three paintings. The works, along with the written entry, are an emotional response and making sense of the abrupt passing of their father, the circumstances that lead to it, and an attempt at the closure they never received. Wilson views this series as ongoing and in it addresses individual and societal issues of race, trauma and identity in juxtaposition with self-critique, and the inner-turmoil and conflict surrounding death, healing and grief. The journey of this series has not been as organized as these ordered pieces may make it seem. Wilson has made an array of works alluding to this traumatic event, all with telling titles; one such project is a series of photographs titled Behind the Smiling Face. The print included in this series, along with its editions, was originally titled, Healing. But, it is with What is Your Name? that Wilson publicly and fearlessly cites their father’s passing as the source of inspiration and topic of the works for the first time. The titling of the work is a direct homage to Wilson’s late father, who the artist is named after.