With themselves and their communities as subject, T.J. Dedeaux-Norris uses painting, video, photography, music, performance, installation, project-based art, context art, confession, the internet and institutional critique to explore the internal drives and external influences that shape identity. Their practice critiques the invisibility of blackness in cultural forms built upon the appropriation of popular and sacred black expressions and idioms. Although they were creative as a child, Dedeaux-Norris came to art through their tumultuous experience of trying to “make it” in Los Angeles as a vulnerable teenager on their own. They explored the roles of rapper, video hoe, certified audio engineer, certified massage therapist, phone sex operator, stripper, prostitute, a sexually exploited, uneducated person, porn star, occasional drug dealer, barista, customer service call center agent, professor, and art star – which now all inform their art and social practice. In addition to making their own music and music videos, full of tongue-in-cheek hip-hop posturing and works about their identity as an artist and a mixed-race black person, they sample and mix materials liberally in their practice as well. They hold an MFA in painting from Yale School of Art (2012).