Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Artist of the moment…….Horace Pippin

 

 

Horace Pippin was an African- American artist who worked with the figure. Pippin was self taught and often created images that included slavery, racism, and prejudice.

Horace Pippin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania in the year 1888. The artist served in World War 1 and after being shot by a sniper lost the use of his right arm. He took up painting to rebuild strength in his right arm.

Pippin created notebooks showing sketches he did whilst on the battlefield. In this clip we view some of Pippin’s artwork made during World War One:

As a young child the Pippin won his first box of crayons by winning a contest that was sponsored by an art supply company.

Below a wonderful montage of works by Pippin:

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Horace Pippin passed away in 1946 at the age of 58 years of age.

Pippin is included in prominent collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Pippin was an excellent story teller. His works of interior scenes and landscapes remind me of the self taught American artist Grandma Moses.

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Artist of the moment………..Emory Douglas

 

 

Emory Douglas was a wonderful African-American artist who worked tirelessly for civil rights and also served at a high level in the political organization known as the black panthers.

Emory Douglas was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the year 1943. Douglas attended the San Francisco City College of Art where he studied graphic’s design.

Douglas served as the art director for a now extinct newspaper called the “Black Panther Newspaper.” that served to inform African American’s of their rights. Through the paper Douglas created many images that people linked with freedom and black pride.

price range information= Sorry none available.

Here we visit the studio of Emory Douglas:

In this clip we view an exhibition of works by Emory Douglas that went on display in the United Kingdom:

Douglas is now based out of San Francisco, California.

I enjoy artists who work for results and this artist reminds me of other “poster artists” like Rupert Garcia or Elizabeth Catlett. Douglas has created works that also bring to light the current struggle for African Americans like the deceased Treyvon Martin.

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Artist of the moment…….Albert Alexander Smith

 

Albert Alexander Smith was born in New York City in the year 1896. Albert Smith was the first African American artist to attend the National Academy of Design. Smith was an illustrator for magazines and his work focused on social injustice. Some examples would be people of color heading to the North after seeing a lynching.

Smith was a prolific printmaker and enjoyed etching. Smith worked for a magazine titled “Crisis” which helped promote the NAACP.

Albert Smith served in the Army during World War One.

Smith was also an entertainer and jazz musician. Smith spent time on stage singing whilst in Paris. He lived in Paris for nearly two decades of his life.

The artist found great success in Paris, France. There he was just seen as a great artist rather than a person of color.

Albert Alexander Smith passed away in 1940.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

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Artist of the moment……Photographer Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was an African-American photographer born in  the year 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas. Parks was renown for his work dealing with the overwhelming at times racism he felt in relocating to Washington D.C.  In addition to photography Parks was also a film maker, film director, film writer, and composer.

price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $123,000l.

Gordon Parks’s story is one of just being in the right place at the right time. When he was 25 he bought his first camera. The person who developed the film rolls could see he has an eye for the right shot. The person sent the photos to fashion company located in Minnesota. Eventually the photos came across a celebrity in the wife of American boxer Joe Louis. She encouraged to take a job in Chicago and relocate.

In 1942 he worked with the Farm Security Administration as a lead photographer located in Washington D.C.

Over his career shot many magazine covers for LIFE magazine. Parks also worked for other fashion magazines including Vogue. Parks was respected for his ability to shoot the model whilst they were in motion rather than just pose them.

In 1968 he won an Emmy Award for a documentary on an African- American family living in Harlem, New York. Gordon Parks also directed the hit movie from 1971 titled SHAFT.

Parks was given the National Medal of the Arts by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

In this clip Gordon Parks talks about his first photography job:

Below a brief bio of the artist and montage of his work:

Another short montage of works by Gordon Parks:

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Artist of the moment……Brett Murray….

Brett Murray is artist born in 1961 in the city or Pretoria, South Africa. He has made himself famous for portraying life as a white person in South Africa after apartheid has taken place. His most famous work was that of the president of  South Africa the country, he painted the artist with his genitals exposed. This work was vandalized and this gave Murray a shot to stardom in the art world as a political artist and activist.

Below is his most controversial piece, called Hail to the Thief, it features President Zuma.

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For his education Murray attended the University of  South Africa at Capetown and Michaelis School of Art.

Murray was the founder  of the sculpture department at a college based out of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

A link to Brett Murray’s own website: http://www.brettmurray.co.za/

When the statue featuring a female figure alongside the Simpsons was displayed the government thought some public outrage might take place, as some organizations sued the government to prevent the display of Mr. Murray’s work.

Here we see a statue by the artist get covered in yarn. I think its great to see that the public is so excited to interact with a work of art. Just great!

In this clip we see the most controversial incident ever involving the artist with the President Zumba of South Africa. The African National Congress went after Murray with vigor for his not so delightful painting of the President. It is paintings like this that have earned him the nickname of the “Demon of Pop Art. ”

 

If I were to compare his work to other artists that deal with race except from a person of colors point of view and in both artists racism in the United States. One artist that comes to mind would be Kara Walker. Walker is highly sought after by collectors including Oprah Winfrey for her silhouette paper and canvas cutouts. These works take us back to a time when no one wanted to be black and the darker your skin color. Her works emphasize the bad thoughts and ideas that sometimes come from people not only slavery, but also other touchy subjects such as rape. Below is wonderful example of Kara Walker’s signature style.

 

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Now lets take a closer look at Kerry James Marshall’s artwork which features race and also makes political commentary. With this work we see important people in the history of the United States as far as barriers being broken. We see such people as John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and  Martin Luther King given wings, they are angels with their spirits always hanging over us.  Marshall was born in Birmingham, Alabama in the year 1955. This was the height of racism in the south of the United States.

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Its very interesting to see how race is handled in different parts of the globe, sometimes I get tired of the slavery themes used by Kara Walker, so when it comes to race and current political themes its great to compare South Africa to the United States as both have begun to heal the many wounds caused by slavery.

 

My computer is nearly fixed so I will soon be back to daily posts, until then I have to post when I have the opportunity to borrow  a computer.

 

Make sure and set aside some time today to paint or draw to make this a fantastic weekend!

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Artist of the moment….Kerry James Marshall…..

Kerry James Marshall is a well known artist who is known for his paintings of people and the effects of racism. He was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama.

In this clip Marshall talks about growing up in many locales across the United States where race became the number one topic on peoples minds. His family lived in Birmingham, Alabama and he grew up there as a youngster. Then the family moved to Watts, one of the toughest places to live in Los Angeles, known for drugs and gangs. Then the family moved to South Central Los Angeles. The Black Rights movement and Civil Rights movement both had an long lasting effect on the artist towards his views on racism.

For his collegiate education the artist attended the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Whilst in college Marshall was able to study under the great African-American printmaker Charles White. Below is a great example of Charles White’s  signature style. White was also briefly married to Elizabeth Catlett, the great American born artist who moved to Mexico and became famous for her ability to use art to help change people’s lifes for the better. White was known for several WPA era paintings.

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Marshall now lives and works out of Chicago, Illinois.

The artist is very innovative and enjoys painting on unique surfaces such as plexiglass.

Marshall has won the MacArthur genius grant taking the prize in 1997.

In this clip the artist talks about wanting to portray people of color in fine art. It is far more common in modern times that we have many celebrated African American artists such as Mario Robinson, Dean Mitchell, Kehinde Wiley, the Saar family, and Samella Sanders Lewis. Marshall seems to think every people of color were seen as only periphery of the paintings, not the focus.

He is married to the actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce. Bruce has appeared in the television show as “Prison Break.”

For his portrayal of African Americans the artist works with characters that seem to be out of stereotypes that took place during the Jim Crow laws era. He painted people as black similar to coal, rather than shades of darkness. In this manner the artist reminds of Kara Walker. Walker is the famed artist who portrays usually on the silhouette of the people she portrays. Many times Walker plays with feelings of hate and racism that took place in the 1800s. With her samed silhouette style the artist seems to say like Marshall you are either black as coal, or you are not with no middle ground. Below is a wonderful example of Kara Walker’s art and I have written about the artist before.

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Also like Kara Walker the artist has even portrayed the transportation of slaves to America in works from the 1990s. He forces to confront their feelings, for the most part negative, about being a person of color in the United States. He even has done paintings questioning if the media finds women of color as desirable as other women.

The theme that I enjoy most about Marshall’s work is his ability for him to accurately portray the amount of style involved in everything that goes with being a person of color. As Marshall says an black person doesn’t walk, you learn to walk with style. EVERYTHING becomes a statement of style and culture and Marshall does a wonderful job portraying that in his artwork.

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