Retina Records: Self-Portraits of a Time Traveler finds Anwar Floyd-Pruitt inventing a visual language intended to evoke the experience of time travel. Densely layered spray-painted works yield a kaleidoscopic installation that is equally inspired by the aesthetic sensibilities of the 1990s and an imagined Afrofuturist tomorrow in which Black lives have been transformed through technology.

Floyd-Pruitt’s abstract faces unite features culled from family photos. The idea came from the experience of looking in a mirror and recognizing elements of his heritage: his mother’s cheek bones, a grandfather’s laugh lines. The portraits collapse past into present, creating a visual record of familial features and anticipating the faces of future generations.

Retina Records emerges from an improvised alchemy of unassuming materials including found paper, spray paint, and brass eyelets. Floyd-Pruitt lays the paper on the floor and works intuitively, spraying paint until sections call out for further elaboration. Forms within the painting recall cassette tapes and vinyl records, which hearken back to the technology of yesteryear and suggest the unique ability of music to transport listeners through space and time. Whether viewers find themselves recalling the past or imagining the future, Retina Records conjures a colorful alternate reality.