Letitia Ntofon is a self-taught artist born and raised in Stockton, Ca. Born in the valley, the Bay Area has always been a fixture in her life. She moved to Oakland in 1997. Also a community activist, writer, and educator, she is co-founder of Black Dot Artists, Inc. and the Village Bottoms Cultural District in West Oakland, where she lives and works. She has participated in West Oakland Art @ The Moment (2008), Pacific Cannery Lofts; Sampling Oakland at YBCA (2006) and BAN5 at YBCA (2008). Her current exhibition, Ekpu in the Fattening House is featured at Black Dot Cafe (2009).
I see my art as a tool to create new myths. At the center of any culture's greatness, mediocrity, or demise is its relationship to its own myths---its legends---and that fascinates me as it relates to African identity and Black American culture. My intention is to weave a public myth through visuals that are oftentimes personal, and in some aspects, foreign. But what is foreign? Fictionalized characters, self portraits, and iconic images of people I know are reflected in much of the work. These figures are my protagonists, sometimes the villains. One figure that constantly appears in my work is Ekpu, or ancestor figure from Oron, Nigeria where my father is from. Ekpu invites the viewer to reflect on theories of post-colonialism through subtle confrontations that explore ideas of commodity, sexuality, wealth, and power. Expanding and subtracting elements from myths that already exist; to recycling narratives that may have been swept under the rug of the collective consciousness, visual art empowers us to bend the rules of reality and create our own.