Thursday, December 21, 2017

Artist Talk

I needed to practice my Artist Talk so the senior center hosted a program featuring me and the Men on December 11. I brought four of the Men and the Serengeti painting. The chairs were arranged into a horseshoe to encourage conversation.

This was probably one of the rare occasions where this audience of senior white People talked about race and stereotypes. Many of them knew me as a volunteer and were surprised to learn I was an artist.

Today as I was leaving the center after a workout two of the attendees stopped me to chat about how much she enjoyed the talk and a previous experience where she stereotyped. The fact that she stopped me to chat let me know I’m doing important work with this art.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The gaze

I was sitting in the studio today having completed varnishing LaMar and decided to pull out the other paintings to review my progress. There is a distinction between how I approached each male with color and brushwork. Some have detailed strokes while others are flickers or markings. Fabrics vary among the men and each presented a unique challenge to capture.

What I was fixated on during the inspection was being surrounded by the collective gaze and the feelings it conjures. I’m sure the feelings will differ with each viewer and I hope they pay attention to the feelings. This is worth exploring and discussing in a group setting.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

LaMar

The final painting before the Northwestern University exhibit. This was completed in three weeks. I met this brother at my Chicago exhibition in February 2016 and never knew his name or story. I’m really pleased with the combination of realism, color, and the size.

I named him LaMar.

Rashaun Rodney and Marshawn

The three men were completed on November 11 and I was able to relax for a week before resuming the last piece before the February 2018 show at Northwestern.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Between the brothas

I spent the first half of 2017 taking a break from (In)Visible Men to get this painting completed. The image was taken from my retirement trip to Tanzania to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro and safari in the Serengeti. These children were out walking in the savanna and approached us while we were looking at the termite pillar. I love how the figures look like the elongated carvings from some of the cultures there.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I haven’t forgotten you brothas

I haven’t forgot you Shawn, Rodney, and Marshawn. I was away from this piece for more than a year.  I’d been busy climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and working on a piece from the trip. But I’m back and this will be complete before December in preparation for a February 2018 show at Northwestern University.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Reunited

Robert and Blanche Stephens of Washington, DC contacted me on January 21the day of my retirement reception inquiring if I was the same Ricardo they found on the Internet who painted this still life they purchased in the early 1980s. Of course I was and I was delighted that they found me coincidentally on the day of my reception. They purchased this piece during an exhibition in Winston-Salem while I was in college more than 35 years ago and we had not been in contact nor had I seen the painting since they took possession. I was happy to hear from them and they shared a pic of the painting which I hope to see in person when I travel east to visit family. 

The Raggety Ann doll was used in a series of paintings during this period to create a narrative about a little girl named Rebecca living in the rural south. Four paintings were part of the series and I would love to see them exhibited together.