Happy Black History Month! Being Painting with a Twist it’s only fitting that we highlight some world and history making black artist , and sculptors from different eras. These artists have made a historical impact because of their talent and unique perspective of their lives and the black experience through their art.No matter your race or art education all of these artist created works that portray our everyday life experiences and emotions. Here are some of these amazing creators of color that made art history.
“Jean-Michel Basquiat was an influential African-American artist who rose to success during the 1980s. Basquiat’s paintings are largely responsible for elevating graffiti artists into the realm of the New York gallery scene., his spray-painted crowns and scribbled words, referenced everything from his Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage, to political issues, pop-culture icons, and Biblical verse.” – learn more about Basquiat here.
“Gordon Parks was a self-taught artist who became the first African-American photographer for Life and Vogue magazines. He also pursued movie directing and screenwriting, working at the helm of the films The Learning Tree, based on a novel he wrote, and Shaft.” – learn more about Gordon Parks here.
“Painter. A social realist, Lawrence documented the African American experience in several series devoted to Toussaint L’Ouverture, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, life in Harlem, and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He was one of the first nationally recognized African American artists. The most widely acclaimed African American artist of this century, and one of only several whose works are included in standard survey books on American art, Jacob Lawrence has enjoyed a successful career for more than fifty years. Lawrence’s paintings portray the lives and struggles of African Americans, and have found wide audiences due to their abstract, colorful style and universality of subject matter. ” – learn more here.
“Kehinde Wiley is a young, African-American painter who is quite literally changing the face(s) of portraiture with his sensitive, vibrant, and political portrayals of black folk, ranging from teenagers he meets on the streets, to fellow contemporary artists, and even former President Barack Obama. Wiley made a name for himself for his naturalistic, brightly colored portraits of young black men, often with dramatic flowery backgrounds.” – learn more about Wiley here.
“During the 1960s Alma Thomas emerged as an exuberant colorist, abstracting shapes and patterns from the trees and flowers around her. Her new palette and technique—considerably lighter and looser than in her earlier representational works and dark abstractions—reflected her long study of color theory and the watercolor medium.As a black woman artist, Thomas encountered many barriers; she did not, however, turn to racial or feminist issues in her art, believing rather that the creative spirit is independent of race or gender.” – learn more about Alma Thomas here.
Barkley L. Hendricks
“Barkley Leonnard Hendricks was a towering figure in the fields of contemporary black portraiture and conceptualism. He is best known for his dignified realist depictions of black Americans set against monochrome or richly patterned backgrounds. Created alongside, and in the aftermath of, the civil rights movement, Hendricks’ subjects were calm representations of an under-represented and ill-treated minority, all the stronger for not being portrayed as victims or protestors. ” – learn more here.
“Considered one of the leading African-American artists and well-known for his unique style of energy and movement, Ernie Barnes is the first American professional athlete to become a noted painter. Barnes credits his college instructor Ed Wilson for laying the foundation for his development as an artist. Wilson was a sculptor who instructed Barnes to paint from his own life experiences.” – learn more about Barnes here.