Thursday, June 30, 2011

Plantation Coloring & Activity Book

The latest coloring book has been completed! Another piece marked off the list for the upcoming exhibition at REDUX titled 'Plantation (Plan-ta-shun)'. I will be silk-screening 25 portfolios of these as well as making a few actual coloring books. 

acrylic on board
30" x 40"

Connect The Dots
acrylic on board
30" x 40"

Cotton Picking Fun
acrylic on board
30" x 40"

Drawing Fun
acrylic on board
30" x 40"

Find Two Alike
acrylic on board
30" x 40"

acrylic on board
30" x 40"

Word Game
acrylic on board
30" x 40"

Jim Crow
acrylic on board
30" x 40"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Margaret Bowland

An exhibition of Margaret Bowland's work is currently on display at the Greenville County Museum of Art. I plan to make a trip and see the work before it comes down. The visuals speak for themselves and don't need my ridiculous commentary. Here is her website if you want to learn more - Margaret Bowland.

And The Cotton is High
82" x 70"
Oil on Linen

Another Thorny Crown - Gray J
74" x 54"
Oil on Linen

The Artist
74" x 54"
Oil on Linen

Flower Girl
48" x 52"
Oil on Linen

Aaron Douglas

Another artist that has informed my work is often referred to as the 'father of African American arts, Aaron Douglas. Though he fought against the label and refused to wear the crown, he nonetheless still bears the halo of respect which radiates for all to see. 

Aaron Douglas (1899-1979)

I first encountered his art at a yard sale. A woodcut, Flight, from his 'Emperor Jones' series was used as a cover illustration for William Melvin Kelley's A Different Drummer (an awesome read - pick it up if you can). I purchased the book for a dollar solely for the cover illustration and after re-drawing, used it as the base image for my silk-screened piece, Plantation Yo-Yo (Run, Nigger, Run)

'Flight'                                              'Plantation Yo-Yo'

You can see the same image throughout my Plantation series. Intrigued by the stylistic shape, I checked out a book on the Harlem Renaissance and was blown away by Aaron's art. Though he painted in a variety of styles, it is the colorful multi-layered murals depicting various aspects of African American life intermingled with African and Egyptian motifs that have come to define his career. The large hulking figures and complex narratives presented in what appears to be a simplistic style draws you in and mesmerizes your senses. You literally cannot take your eyes off the pieces until you have explored them to their fullest. Here are some examples:


'Song of the Towers'

'Building More Stately Mansions'

Like many, I assumed that the work was simplistic based on the compositional elements. WRONG! I tried to paint one of his images on the wall of my den and after a week gave up in frustration. The layering combined with the top glazing (I assume that is what it is) he used baffled the hell out of me. Still can't figure out how the man did what he did! Nonetheless, I can;'t get enough of this man's work and can only hope that one day my art has the same visual and generational impact that his work has. I urge any and everyone to delve further into his art. Here is his bio from Wikipedia:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Set Curcio on display

Our old friend and late director of REDUX  moved to San Francisco a couple years ago and has been doing some wonderful work. A brief description and images from his latest exhibition "Pursuing A Calculated Distance" (along with Bradley Hyppa and Benjamin Meyer) was posted on the Huffington Post. Keep up the great work Seth!

Surface Descent
36" x 72"

What We Know
96" x 240"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Upcoming Exhibition

I've been invited to have a solo exhibition at REDUX Contemporary Art Studio in Charleston, SC. I had a sit down with the director, Karen Ann Myers, and she penciled me in for mid next year (April - May?) I'll firm up the dates is a couple weeks. I've been thinking long about the direction of the exhibition and think that it is finally time to unleash the Plantation series. The space is not terribly large but they will be renovating the existing gallery and that should free up a few more precious feet of display area. I have a lot of work to do between now and the end of the year when I want to have everything completed for the exhibition. That means I will be running various display options through my thick skull until I get tired and settle on a firm direction. I surmise that I have at least one half of the exhibition completed already.

Along with the exhibit comes a residency and a catalog. I've never had a catalog made of an exhibit and I am looking forward to the process. One of the most exciting aspects of exhibiting at REDUX is their exterior wall.

REDUX Contemporary Art Center
Charleston, SC

As far as I know they possess the only public art space on the peninsula and allow artist in residence to paint whatever they want on it. I'm not sure if the wall mural automatically comes along with the exhibit but you can damn well be sure that I will ask for the honor! Another aspect of Redux that I love is that they are pretty liberal in their attitude towards exhibitions so my leash is extremely long. I'm looking forward to doing something extraordinary in the space.

Friday, June 3, 2011

By the way...

The portrait that I was working on that was frustrating the hell out of me is finished and looks wonderful. I'll post a picture of it late next week. It's a surprise to a client's wife and I don't want to post it until he unveils it for her. I apologized to the art for my outburst and we are fast friends once again.

Is it just me...

...or does our newly elected 1st District Republican Congressman Tim Scott look eerily familiar to Aunt Jemima? Just an observation, not implying anything about his character or political leanings.

Aunt Jemima                                                   Congressman Tim Scott

Contemporary Charleston 2011

“Contemporary Charleston 2011: Under the Radar”

Emerging Artist Competition & Piccolo Spoleto Exhibition

May 26 - July 31, 2011 City Gallery at Waterfront Park 34 Prioleau St., Charleston
View the winners’ work during the Piccolo Spoleto exhibition and meet the artists at the Opening Reception: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 6-8 p.m. All artwork is available for sale, with 20 percent of the proceeds benefiting the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. Operated by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, the City Gallery at Waterfront Park is an admission-free venue for contemporary art that focuses on broadening Charleston’s arts outlook through new, vital, and innovative artwork.
For more information, call (843) 958-6484 or