Tag Archives: African American Art

Tips for the Emerging Art Collector

26 Apr

When starting an art collection, purchasing art can be a very daunting task. Many find the idea of it intimidating and overwhelming. However, the truth is that it doesn’t have to be that difficult. There are all kinds of ways in which art collecting is open to everyone…one just needs to take that first step. Art isn’t always a $10 million painting and you don’t always have to find it in a gallery in New York City.  This post is going to share some tips on how to begin your journey down the fun path of collecting art.

Julia Fernandez Pol, Reef Series 8, 23.5"x18.5", bas-relief hand painted monoprint

Julia Fernandez Pol, Reef Series 8, 23.5″x 18.5″, bas-relief hand painted monoprint

Tip #1: Buy art you like/love/couldn’t live without.

This is the first thing any collector will tell you. There is nothing like a regretted purchase, especially when it comes to art. That is why it is strongly suggested that you buy works that really speak to you. When buying a work of art, you want to make sure that it is something that you will still want to look at after it’s been on your wall for some amount of time. Works that make you stop and notice something new in them every time you look are the best kinds of works. If you see a piece in a gallery and you can’t stop thinking about it or continuously go to see it, that’s probably the art collector inside telling you something. At Morton Fine Art, we have the option of taking art works out on approval so that you can hang them in your home/office for a short period of time to get a feeling of what it would be like living with the piece.

Self goggles 4 - 8x10 - oil on mylar web

Charles Williams, Self Portrait with Goggles 4, 10″x8″, oil on mylar

Tip #2: Artwork doesn’t have to match your sofa. Or other pieces in your in collection.

This is a good follow up to the “Buy art you love” tip. It can be a touchy subject as on a few occasions, some people have come into the gallery looking for something to match a piece of furniture or a wall in their space. While it is really awesome when works of art match, it can stifle the creative freedom that makes art collecting fun. Buying your first piece of art doesn’t have to dictate the direction your collection will go. You can mix landscapes with figurative works, abstracts with realism. For example, works on paper are a great way to keep  In the end, it’s really about how they make you feel. Your art collection is a story about you and the experiences you’ve had in your life time.

Trance Dance, 2002, 26"x19", oil and pastel on handmade paper

Trance Dance, 2002, 26″x 19″, oil and pastel on handmade paper

Tip #3: More often than not, art IS in your budget.

A lot of potential collectors get scared off from buying art because they automatically assume the works are going to be out of their price range. Stories from auction houses about works that sell for millions don’t help alleviate this misconception. There are different ways galleries can help you figure out how to buy your first piece. When you are going to a gallery to buy art for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, keep in mind that certain factors will determine the price of a piece. Medium for example, can dictate the price of an artwork. From my own personal experience, I’ve built my collection (which include works by Vonn Sumner, Katherine Hattam, Nathaniel Donnett and Kesha Bruce) around buying works on paper because I find that they fit within my budget more so than works on canvas. That shouldn’t, however, prevent you from figuring out which mediums you like best.

Other ways can be through extended payments. For example, art works can be put on payment plans. Galleries will break up the cost of a piece into more easily payable payments over a 2-3 month period. This is helpful because it will help you budget and feel more secure in your art purchase. However, don’t always assume a gallery will offer you a plan. If you are really interested in a piece, ask the gallerist about their financial options.

If you are interested in starting your art collection or are looking to add something new to your already started collection, please contact the gallery. New collectors, ask about our New Collector Initiative!

NATE LEWIS solo “Biological Tapestries – 1st Movement” opens 4/8/16 at Morton Fine Art

29 Mar
Biological Tapestries – 1st Movement
Sculpted Paper Photo Prints by NATE LEWIS
Friday, April 8th – April 27th, 2016

OPENING DAY RECEPTION 
Friday, April 8th, 6pm-8pm
The artist will be in attendance.
cloaked in fratres forever grateful web

NATE LEWIS, Cloaked in Fratres Forever, 2016, 40″x26″, sculpted paper photo print

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009

(202) 628-2787
mortonfineart@gmail.com
HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm

Sunday 12pm-5pm

save me this time web

NATE LEWIS, Save Me This Time, 2016, sculpted paper photo print

About NATE LEWIS & Biological Tapestries

“Biological Tapestries is a visual reflection of the competing elements of genetics, the microbiological world, human intervention through medical care, and appeals to the divine which all have a stake in determining the outcome of patients in critical care units.
As a critical care registered nurse I desired to become emotionally porous. I sought for the impersonal experiences of patients and families to become personal and intimate. This resulted in distilling untested qualities of my character and further illuminating areas of my identity.
Through sculpting landscapes of moving textures and patterns on bodies, I attempt to make visible the unseen tensions and competing elements within the bodies that mirror the internal transformations of the patients, the individuals emotionally invested in these patients and myself.
I aim for this work to show the power of freedom within boundaries, and to question to what lengths are we willing to lay aside our pride, comfort, and fear to make room for empathy, within intimate and larger social contexts.” -NATE LEWIS, 2016
 
Nathaniel Lewis grew up in Beaver Falls, near Pittsburgh, Pa. Born 1985, Nate benefited from the cultural mix of his Trinidad-born father who was raised in Brooklyn and his white American-born mother, raised in Philadelphia. He graduated from VCU with his BSN and has been a practicing critical care nurse for the past five years. He planned to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a certified nurse anesthetist.
In 2013, he started exploring the use of diagnostic electrocardiogram paper in his work, which led him to a more focused study of paper itself. He began sculpting individual sheets of white paper into 2-3d forms. He then started blending his unique approach with paper sculpture to photos. Within the first year and a half of showing his paper sculptures, he has exhibited in Washington DC, New York, Miami, and San Francisco.

Biological Tapestries – 1st Movement marks his first solo. He is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

About Morton Fine Art
Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that anyone can become an art collector or enthusiast, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice.

 

KESHA BRUCE makes For Harriet’s List of “10 Contemporary Black Women Visual Artists You Should Know”

21 Jan

 

For Harriet Logo

10 CONTEMPORARY BLACK WOMEN VISUAL ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Mickalene Thomas, “Din Une Tres Belle Negresse 2,” 2011

by Nneka M. Okona

Carving out a space for themselves, their voices, their stories, their dedication to the craft of visual arts, this group of Black women, with varied interests and backgrounds, almost make it look effortless. These 10 brilliant Black women use their gifts and the allure of their artistry to explore a vast amount of subjects, issues and themes — sexuality, race, femininity, gender, history. And they do so in interesting, innovative ways.

Shantell Martin

Based in Brooklyn, Shanell’s artistry can best be described as telling the stories from her life using a black and white palette. Incorporating and transforming everyday items — walls, sneakers, luxury goods or any odds and ends — Shanell creates new masterpieces with her unique vision. To date, Shanell has collaborated with a number of brands, including 3×1 denim, Suno and Jaw and Bone.

Website

Brianna McCarthy

On first glance at any of Brianna’s work, the first thing you’re sure to notice are the bright, loud colors which combine in a harmonious blend. This Trinidad & Tobago native, where she is also currently based, prides herself on that signature, one which she uses to examine and begin discourse on topics she deems important — beauty, stereotypes and representation. Her work takes the form of performance art, fabric collage, traditional media and installations.

Website

Kara Walker

A bold expressionist who tackles the themes of history, power, race, repression and sexuality, Kara Walker is known for her trademark room size black cut paper silhouettes. In college and graduate school, she focused on painting, printmaking and overall design, although her work has taken many other forms, such as text, video, film, performance and cyclorama. Perhaps the most notable honor she received was a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, making her the second youngest person to ever receive it. Most recently, Kara’s much talked about exhibit “A Subtlety” appeared at the now demolished Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn.

More information

Renee Cox

Self-dubbed as one of the most controversial Black women working today, Renee doesn’t shy away from using her art as tool to inspire discourse on both racism and sexism. Two of her most reactionary pieces, perhaps, were “In It Shall be Named,” which depicted a Black man’s distorted body in elven separate pictures, hanging from a cross and “Yo Mama’s Last Supper,” a remake of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci piece with Renee nude as Jesus and all Black disciples except for Judas, shown as White.

Website

Kesha Bruce

In a beautiful marriage of magical & spiritual belief, memory and personal mythology, Kesha Bruce explores those connections through her work. Some notable collections, such as “(Re)calling and (Re)telling”, use mixed media to combine personal experience, family mythologies and African American history; and “The Totem Series”, which displays narrative portraits of hybrid beings. Currently, she has permanent collections at The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture and The University of Iowa Women’s Center, to name a few. Kesha lives and works in France.

Website

Caitlin Cherry

Brooklyn-based Caitlin Cherry is most known for her large-scale installations in the Brooklyn-based museum Raw/Cooked series. In her project for the series entitled “Hero Safe”, Caitlin curated three paintings that drew upon Leonardo Da Vinci for inspiration. In each installation, there is a wood structure that acts as support for the painting present.

 More information:

Xaviera Simmons

Xaviera has always known on a soul level she wanted to be an artist, as she has always been a creator of something, even when being a midwife competed for her time. The breadth of her work touches on many types of visual artistry — installations, sculptures, photographs, videos and performances. Xaviera currently has several pieces on permanent collections, including at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia and the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City.

More information

Mickalene Thomas

Femininity and beauty are the dominating themes present in Mickalene’s work, a New York City based artist. She routinely uses items such as rhinestones, acrylic and enamel to push her vision and to bring each of her pieces of art full circle. Mickalene cites Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden and Edourad Manet as inspiration which communicate her vision.

 Website

Akosua Adoma Owusu

A brilliant filmmaker, Akosua has made a name for herself in the filming scene. Akosua, who is Ghanian, to date has had her films appear in venues across the world, in festivals, museums, galleries and microcinemas. Most recently, her short film “Kwaku Ananse” was the winning film for Ghana at the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards for best film.

Website

Wangechi Mutu

With each stroke and with each creation, Wangechi’s motivation is to challenge the notions of female sexuality, particularly the depiction of sexuality of African women. Wangechi, who was born in Kenya, isn’t afraid to push the envelope and combine the elements of painting and collage in her pieces.

 More information

Nneka M. Okona is a writer based in Washington, DC. Visit her blog, http://www.afrosypaella.com, her website, about.me/nnekaokona or follow her tweets, @NisforNneka.

Read more: http://www.forharriet.com/2014/12/contemporary-black-women-visual-artists.html#ixzz3xtoEm6mQ
Follow us: @ForHarriet on Twitter | forharriet on Facebook
Click HERE to read the article in full.
Please contact Morton Fine Art for available artwork by KESHA BRUCE.
Morton Fine Art
1781 Florida Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 628-2787
mortonfineart@gmail.com
http://www.mortonfineart.com

MAYA FREELON ASANTE partners with Google for launch of OnHub Makers

23 Dec
Morton Fine Art

MAYA FREELON ASANTE partners with Google for the launch of OnHub Makers
 
 
Maya Freelon Asante with her OnHub sleeve design


 
Google‘s OnHub custom art sleeve by artist Maya FreelonAsante


Morton Fine Art is excited to share that MAYA FREELON ASANTE is one of Google‘s partner artists for OnHub Makers – making home internet look a little more like home!

Google 
invited her and a handful of other makers to create custom shell designs for the OnHub from TP-Link. See her design and others as well as download instructions to make your own! 
g.co/onhubmakers

About OnHub by Google

In addition to the new shell designs that Google introduced, they shared the files with artists, designers, and makers from around the world to create their own OnHub shells. Now it’s your turn. See their designs and get inspired to make your own.
Don’t miss the opportunity to congratulate MAYA FREELON ASANTE in person at the opening of her solo exhibition Impermanence this Saturday, December 12th from 2pm-6pm at Morton Fine Art!
 
 

Maya Freelon Asante, Divided/Whole, 2015, 25.5″x19″, spinning tissue ink monoprint
Impermanence
A solo exhibition of new artwork by MAYA FREELON ASANTE
 
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 – January 5th, 2016

OPENING DAY RECEPTION
Saturday, December 12th 2pm-6pm
 
The artist will be in attendance.
EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009
HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
About Impermanence
Impermance is Maya Freelon Asante‘s first solo exhibition following a deeply personal loss.  Deborah Willis, Ph.D. writes “Maya  FreelonAsante  explores  memory, memorial  and  family  in her  art  practice. She   also  examines  the social  and  artistic  space  within  the experience  of motherhood and   grieving.    Maya‘s  artwork  looks at the  fragility  of  life  and provides  the viewer  with  a   way  of retelling  a  story  about  life–joy and pain. Her current body of work draws on the temporal and is inspired by love of family specifically of her grandmother’s art practice as inspiration. “
About MAYA FREELON ASANTE‘S process & inspiration
“In 2005 I discovered a beautiful accident; a stack of water damaged tissue paper tucked away in my grandmother’s basement was left with a brilliant and intricate stain. Since then I’ve submerged myself in the medium of bleeding tissue paper sculpture and tissue ink monoprints, which exist as simultaneously transient and steadfast. This dichotomy continues to intrigue and surprise me as I wrestle with sharing the unique beauty, fragility, and strength of my art with the world.
Much like my grandmother, who never wasted a single grain of rice on her plate, I find a way to utilize tissue paper at every stage of creation – including the rich and colorful ink released when the paper is wet, the sculptural mounds formed when creating monoprints, and even the tiny ripped pieces no larger than a fingernail which are collected and wound into spiral sculptures. Improvisation and discovery play a big role in my creative process; by incorporating archival photographs I’m able to reappropriate images, bridging a gap between the past and future.
My grandmother always said she “made a way out of no way” and her personal endurance opened a path for my own creative discovery. Art for me is about finding the message in the medium and honoring what fuels our desire to preserve and protect it. Bringing more peace, joy and light into the world is my primary objective, while simultaneously appreciating the beauty of now and creating everlasting memories.”
MAYA FREELON ASANTE
About MAYA FREELON ASANTE
Maya Freelon Asante is an award-winning artist whose artwork was described by poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being,” and her unique tissue paper work was also praised by the International Review of African American Art as a “vibrant, beating assemblage of color.” She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City 2013, by the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”, and Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Art Stars” as “the most badass female artists in the biz.”
Maya has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including Paris, Ghana, and US Embassies in Madagascar, Italy, Jamaica and Swaziland. She has been a professor of art at Towson University and Morgan State University. Maya has attended numerous residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Korobitey Institute and Brandywine Workshop. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is currently represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

 

MAYA FREELON ASANTE’s solo show “IMPERMANENCE” at Morton Fine Art

17 Dec

 

Impermanence
A solo exhibition of new artwork by MAYA FREELON ASANTE

Saturday, December 12th, 2015 – January 5th, 2016


About Impermanence

Impermance is Maya Freelon Asante’s first solo exhibition following a deeply personal loss.  Deborah Willis, Ph.D. writes “Maya  Freelon Asante  explores  memory, memorial  and  family  in her  art  practice. She   also  examines  the social  and  artistic  space  within  the experience  of motherhood and   grieving.    Maya’s  artwork  looks at the  fragility  of  life  and provides  the viewer  with  a   way  of retelling  a  story  about  life–joy and pain. Her current body of work draws on the temporal and is inspired by love of family specifically of her grandmother’s art practice as inspiration. ”


About MAYA FREELON ASANTE’S process & inspiration
“In 2005 I discovered a beautiful accident; a stack of water damaged tissue paper tucked away in my grandmother’s basement was left with a brilliant and intricate stain. Since then I’ve submerged myself in the medium of bleeding tissue paper sculpture and tissue ink monoprints, which exist as simultaneously transient and steadfast. This dichotomy continues to intrigue and surprise me as I wrestle with sharing the unique beauty, fragility, and strength of my art with the world.
Much like my grandmother, who never wasted a single grain of rice on her plate, I find a way to utilize tissue paper at every stage of creation – including the rich and colorful ink released when the paper is wet, the sculptural mounds formed when creating monoprints, and even the tiny ripped pieces no larger than a fingernail which are collected and wound into spiral sculptures. Improvisation and discovery play a big role in my creative process; by incorporating archival photographs I’m able to reappropriate images, bridging a gap between the past and future.
My grandmother always said she “made a way out of no way” and her personal endurance opened a path for my own creative discovery. Art for me is about finding the message in the medium and honoring what fuels our desire to preserve and protect it. Bringing more peace, joy and light into the world is my primary objective, while simultaneously appreciating the beauty of now and creating everlasting memories.”
-MAYA FREELON ASANTE

About MAYA FREELON ASANTE
Maya Freelon Asante is an award-winning artist whose artwork was described by poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being,” and her unique tissue paper work was also praised by the International Review of African American Art as a “vibrant, beating assemblage of color.” She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City 2013, by the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”, and Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Art Stars” as “the most badass female artists in the biz.”
Maya has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including Paris, Ghana, and US Embassies in Madagascar, Italy, Jamaica and Swaziland. She has been a professor of art at Towson University and Morgan State University. Maya has attended numerous residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Korobitey Institute and Brandywine Workshop. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is currently represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

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KESHA BRUCE “5 Black and Latino Artists You Need to Know”

15 Dec

ntrsctn logo

5 black and Latino artists you need to know

At Miami’s Art Basel, a new, more diverse crop of talent is on the rise.

BY COREY CHALUMEAU DEC 9, 2015

 

IMAGE VIA GETTY / THADDAEUS MCADAMS

Every December, artists and aficionados alike hit up Miami for a week of shows, events, and hobnobbing with the 1 percent.

For enthusiasts, Art Basel marks the winter reunion of the global art world; for socialites, it means a week’s worth of free booze, elaborate parties, and the chance to network with top influencers.

Regardless of what draws you to the 305, Art Basel’s primary purpose is to celebrate artists. But since the art world is widely known for its classism and elitism, we had to wonder: How much diversity would be present on art’s biggest stage? After perusing Art Basel’s most high-profile shows—Pulse, Scope, Aqua, and Basel—it’s clear that artists and gallery owners of color remain underrepresented.

Luckily, NTRSCTN managed to find five artists who break the mostly white mold, and present diverse narratives.

GettyImages-500084782_q8vopk

 

Original photos and interviews by Corey Chalumeau​

Michi_Meko_uhbtlp

  • 1. Michi Meko
  • Hometown: Florence, Alabama
    Currently lives in: Atlanta
    Where to find his work: AlanAveryArtCompany.com

    Thoughts on his art: “The overall narrative I’m interested in is Southern culture and contemporary underground culture, and where those two aesthetics meet. But it’s also of an exploration into blackness and its identity in that Southernness.”

  • Latest project: “Buoyancy” explores themes involving water, specifically tackling the stereotype that black people can’t swim. It also comments on Meko​’s previous experience as a fisherman.
  • Why he matters: As a multidisciplinary artist, Meko works with different media to portray black heroes post-slavery, choosing to shed light on a more positive element of blackness rather than focusing on the trauma of the slave narrative. He utilizes a trapped-out aesthetic, visible in projects like Gourds, The Job of Resurrectors, and We Been Gold, which helps his work resonate with a younger audience.

Aerosyn_Lex_gpuf6h

  • 2. Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic
  • Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Currently lives in: Brooklyn
    Where to find his workAerosynlex.com
  • Why he matters: Mestrovic is a multidisciplinary artist whose work has been displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. One of his most recent paintings was also shown at and later donated to the White House. Mestrovic collaborates with some of the world’s best-known brands and personalities, including Kenzo, Nike, Diesel, Public School, and artist Jeff Koons.
  • Latest project: A multi-piece installation called “Paper View,”  in collaboration with digital company MOO, which celebrates works made entirely from paper.
  • Thoughts on his art: “You come to these art fairs, and everyone’s trying to scream as loud as possible to grab your attention. But I believe the work I’m able to do is something a little more reserved. If you really dig, there’s a lot more to it, a deeper conversation there, which is throughout all of my work—whether it be for a women’s collection (like the one I’m designing in Japan), or the tour visuals I did for Kanye West, or the short film I worked on for UK’s Channel 4 and Protein London as part of theRandom Acts arts platform.”

Kesha_Bruce_1_va9wqv

  • 3. Kesha Bruce
  • Hometown: Pella, Iowa
    Currently lives in: Paris
    Where to find her work: KeshaBruce.com
  • Latest project: A collection of paintings entitled “The Guardians,” which is a solemn tribe of mysterious beings who act as watchers, keepers, and protectors. The idea came to Bruce when she “awoke in the early morning hours to witness a figure hovering at the foot of her bed.” That moment conjured up many emotions for Bruce, including fascination, terror, and wonder—themes on which she has focused over the past three years.
  • Thoughts on her art: “The work I’m doing right now is focused on contemporary spirituality, but what I’m most interested in is personal mythology and the magical spiritual belief in the African diaspora, as well as people’s belief systems and personal belief systems. The paintings I’m working on now are my own magical symbols that are personal just to me, that belong to no other religion or spiritual system.”

    Why she matters: Bruce has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, theVermont Studio Center, and French creative center CAMAC. She also received a Puffin Foundation grant for her work with Artist’s Books. Bruce’s art is part of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s permanent collection.

Alejandro_Salazar_1_xxjd66

  • 4. Alejandro Salazar
  • Hometown: Colima, Mexico
    Currently lives in: Miami
    Where to find his work:JennyGreenGallery.com
  • Why he matters: Salazar says he is determined to portray his Latin roots in his work, and to spark meaningful conversation as a result.
  • Latest project: His paintingTres Pescados(“Three Fish” in Spanish) comments on excessive consumption, and the role it plays in a society where people are constantly baited by advertising and marketing—much like how humans bait fish.
  • Thoughts on his art: “I think art should have many purposes beyond just the creating. There’s a lot work out here that doesn’t speak to me—it’s not made with your hands, so it has no spirit. You can tell it’s flat; its only purpose is to decorate. I feel works—especially those that are made through painting—should serve a purpose beyond just decoration.”

Gregory_1_wa8qcz

  • 5. Gregory Saint Amand a.k.a. GoGo
  • Hometown: New York, but raised in Haiti
    Currently lives in: Manhattan
    Where to find his work: IKnowGoGo.com
  • Why he matters: Amand currently has work featured in the corporate collection of hedge fund Red Alder, and his first solo show will kick off later this winter. In just two years, Amand has presented his work at two of the biggest fairs at Art Basel; last year, he showed at Miami’s Red Dot Art Fair and this year, his work was on display at contemporary art show Scope.

    Latest project: “Kitty Face,” a painting inspired by a trip to China during which Amand​ saw impressive graffiti that felt familiar, but couldn’t translate. Instead of getting frustrated, he decided to use the graffiti as his backdrop, and then adds an urban figure (e.g. a young black girl or a black male boxer) to either cause tension, or see if the two can blend together seamlessly.

  • Thoughts on his art: “My art is about juxtaposing elements that we don’t think match, and then putting them together to see how seamlessly they live together. I think that nine out of 10 times, us human beings are so much alike. We’re doing these things in different cultures, but when you see it on a canvas, it just works. Visually, we all speak similar languages.”

Click HERE to view the article in full.

Please contact Morton Fine Art for available artwork by KESHA BRUCE.

Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

(202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com, http://www.mortonfineart.com

Images of CHARLES WILLIAMS opening reception for “Swim”

8 Oct
Swim
A solo exhibition of oil paintings by CHARLES WILLIAMS
Friday, September 25th – October 13th, 2015

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)

Washington, DC 20009

HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

 

In Swim, his debut solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art, North Carolina based painter, CHARLES WILLIAMS explores deeply personal themes of aquaphobia and stereotypes of swimming and African Americans in the South. Swim expands on his solo Swim : An Artist’s Journey recently on view at The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chaplin Art Museum.

 

 

Click here for available artwork by CHARLES WILLIAMS.

Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

(202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

CHARLES WILLIAMS solo exhibition “Swim” debuts at Morton Fine Art 9/25/15

15 Sep
Swim
A solo exhibition of oil paintings by CHARLES WILLIAMS

Friday, September 25th – October 13th, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION 
Friday, September 25th 6pm-8pm
The artist will be in attendance.
Lost and Found 4, 72″x96″, oil on canvas

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)

Washington, DC 20009

HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
Swim, 30″x30″, oil on panel

 
About Swim
In Swim, his debut solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art, North Carolina based painter, CHARLES WILLIAMS explores deeply personal themes of aquaphobia and stereotypes of swimming and African Americans in the South. Swim expands on his solo Swim : An Artist’s Journey recently on view at The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chaplin Art Museum.
Charles Williams‘ oceanscapes capture the dangerous beauty of the sea while simultaneously addressing his most personal and private fears stemming from nearly drowning at age 11.  To create seascape nocturnes for Swim, Williams forced himself to wade in the water, reliving the profound fear of his youth, to snap photos of waves with trembling hands and quickened heartbeat. Once out of the ocean and back in his studio, he worked from these source images, which are often shaky and imperfect, to recreate them on canvas.
As a child Williams was taught that he could do anything he put his mind to, but after his close call with a watery death, he started to doubt this mantra and began to internalize the stereotypes he heard from his peers claiming that black people could not swim.  Growing up in South Carolina and hearing limiting and oppressive phrases like this led Williams to believe that there was something inherently wrong with him (and those of his complexion) that prevented him from swimming.  In Swim, Williams also explores self portraits, created freehand and intuitively in contrast to his oceanscapes (which are drafted with measuring tools like grids and rulers) with the intent of capturing his state of being rather than his physical attributes.
“How we handle traumatic experiences both shapes and molds our identities. As an artist, I am deeply inspired to humbly respond to those experiences by orchestrating new viewpoints of the fears associated with them – in this case, the fear of water. It is my hope that the psychological and physical elements found in my work, which aim to acknowledge fear as a stepping-off point for overcoming it, elicit hope and compassion in its viewers. These paintings serve as a personal testimony of my decision to begin a journey toward freedom.”
-CHARLES WILLIAMS
About CHARLES WILLIAMS
 
Charles Williams is a contemporary realist painter from Georgetown, South Carolina and a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia. He is currently earning his MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Recent achievements and awards include a Hudson River Landscape Fellowship, featured work in the Artists Magazines 28th Annual Art Competition, honorable mention from Southwest Art Magazines 21 Emerging Under 31 competition, 2012 Winner of the Fine Art Category from Creative Quarterly, 2013 selected artist for 28th Positive Negative juried art exhibition at East Tennessee State University, juror/curated by Michael Ray Charles from PBS Ar21.Williams‘ works has been shown in American Art Collector, Empty Magazine, Charleston Magazine, Grand Strand, Studio Visit, Bluecanvas and other national publications. He was recently interviewed and broadcast on ETV/ NPR station, entitled: Nature through the Eyes of an Artist. His contemporary landscapes have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in galleries in Washington, DC, New York, Vermont, California, Georgia, South Carolina and several other southeastern states.

 

CHARLES WILLIAMS painting Swim in his North Carolina studio
 
About Morton Fine Art
Founded as an innovative solution to the changing contemporary art market, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that anyone can become an art collector, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of innovative exhibitions and a new generation of art services.
For further information and images, please contact Amy Morton:
Exhibition catalogs available upon request.
###

 

CHARLES WILLIAMS solo exhibition “Swim” opens 9/25/15 at Morton Fine Art

3 Sep
Morton Fine Art
Swim
A solo exhibition of oil paintings by CHARLES WILLIAMS
Friday, September 25th – October 13th, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION 
Friday, September 25th 6pm-8pm
The artist will be in attendance.
Lost and Found 4, 72″x96″, oil on canvas
EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009

HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
Swim, 30″x30″, oil on panel
 
About Swim
In Swim, his debut solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art, North Carolina based painter, CHARLES WILLIAMS explores deeply personal themes of aquaphobia and stereotypes of swimming and African Americans in the South. Swim expands on his solo Swim : An Artist’s Journeyrecently on view at The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chaplin Art Museum.
Charles Williams’ oceanscapes capture the dangerous beauty of the sea while simultaneously addressing his most personal and private fears stemming from nearly drowning at age 11.  To create seascape nocturnes for Swim, Williams forced himself to wade in the water, reliving the profound fear of his youth, to snap photos of waves with trembling hands and quickened heartbeat. Once out of the ocean and back in his studio, he worked from these source images, which are often shaky and imperfect, to recreate them on canvas.
As a child Williams was taught that he could do anything he put his mind to, but after his close call with a watery death, he started to doubt this mantra and began to internalize the stereotypes he heard from his peers claiming that black people could not swim.  Growing up in South Carolina and hearing limiting and oppressive phrases like this led Williams to believe that there was something inherently wrong with him (and those of his complexion) that prevented him from swimming.  In Swim, Williams also explores self portraits, created freehand and intuitively in contrast to his oceanscapes (which are drafted with measuring tools like grids and rulers) with the intent of capturing his state of being rather than his physical attributes.
“How we handle traumatic experiences both shapes and molds our identities. As an artist, I am deeply inspired to humbly respond to those experiences by orchestrating new viewpoints of the fears associated with them – in this case, the fear of water. It is my hope that the psychological and physical elements found in my work, which aim to acknowledge fear as a stepping-off point for overcoming it, elicit hope and compassion in its viewers. These paintings serve as a personal testimony of my decision to begin a journey toward freedom.”
-CHARLES WILLIAMS
About CHARLES WILLIAMS
 
Charles Williams is a contemporary realist painter from Georgetown, South Carolina and a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia. He is currently earning his MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Recent achievements and awards include a Hudson River Landscape Fellowship, featured work in the Artists Magazines 28th Annual Art Competition, honorable mention from Southwest Art Magazines 21 Emerging Under 31 competition, 2012 Winner of the Fine Art Category from Creative Quarterly, 2013 selected artist for 28th Positive Negative juried art exhibition at East Tennessee State University, juror/curated by Michael Ray Charles from PBS Ar21. Williams’ works has been shown in American Art Collector, Empty Magazine, Charleston Magazine, Grand Strand, Studio Visit, Bluecanvas and other national publications. He was recently interviewed and broadcast on ETV/ NPR station, entitled: Nature through the Eyes of an Artist. His contemporary landscapes have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in galleries in Washington, DC, New York, Vermont, California, Georgia, South Carolina and several other southeastern states.

 

CHARLES WILLIAMS painting Swim in his North Carolina studio
 
About Morton Fine Art
Founded as an innovative solution to the changing contemporary art market, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that anyone can become an art collector, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of innovative exhibitions and a new generation of art services.
For further information and images, please contact Amy Morton:
Exhibition catalogs available upon request.
###


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CHARLES WILLIAMS : Banishing Fear, Stereotypes through Waves of Paint in Charlotte Viewpoint

7 Jul

charlotte viewpoint

 

ARTS & CULTURE »

Banishing Fear, Stereotypes Through Waves of Paint

byJoshua Peters

June 7, 2015

Caption: Two paintings from Charles Williams’ Swim series.

There is a moment, a second before a frosty blue-green wall of Atlantic Ocean wave crashes over you, where your body braces — you close your eyes, pull your arms into yourself and take a deep breath. Then comes a crash, muffled turbulence and silence… followed by the re-emergence of warm sun and the slowly recognizable sounds of gulls, waves and beach.

For McColl Center Artist-In-Residence Charles Williams, these moments are the most sacred. When Williams was 11 years old, he joined his cousins for a family reunion in Myrtle Beach to play in the surf. His father forbid him to go, but he went anyway despite his sub-par swimming ability. Williams remembers the crash, muffled turbulence, and silence but not the warm sun, nor the familiar sounds of his cousins playing. A torrential rip current pulled him out to sea, and — unable to swim free — a helpless Williams would have drowned if his uncle and father had not arrived in time to rescue him.

Williams would go on to great things, including a stint at Savannah College of Art and Design and a successful career as a brand manager, designer and marketer.  Two things remained constant for him though: uneasiness around water, and dissatisfaction with his career path. In one bold stroke, though, Williams decided to confront both and recapture both his desire to be a painter and a deeply personal understanding of his own struggle with water, as well as the psychological barriers and bigotry associated with swimming and black youth.

“How we handle traumatic experiences,” says Williams, “both shapes and molds our identities.”

But his step away from the corporate creative world and into his own studio to confront these feelings has not impeded his success. His more recent achievements include participation in the Hudson River Landscape Fellowship, selection as a keynote speaker at CPCC’s Sensoria 2016, featured work in the Artists Magazines 28th Annual Art Competition, and honorable mention fromSouthwest Art magazine’s “21 Emerging Under 31” competition. Williams’ works have been shown inAmerican Art Collector, Empty Magazine, Charleston Magazine, Grand Strand, Studio Visit, Bluecanvas and other national publications. He was recently interviewed on an NPR segment entitled “Nature through the Eyes of an Artist.” His contemporary landscapes have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in galleries in New York, Vermont, California, Georgia, South Carolina and other southeastern states, with more planned, including a featured place at Miami’s Art Basel 2015. His stay in Charlotte has brought him to a residency at the McColl Center for Arts + Innovation through August, with a show in the McColl’s galleries planned at some point during his stay.

The process of personal change is the primary focus of the summation of Williams work, his Swim series. Previously featured (all too appropriately) at the Myrtle Beach Art Museum, Swim consists of eight (and counting) large oil paintings. These canvases are home to incredibly detailed, hyper-realistic seascapes. Painted from reference photographs taken by Williams himself, Swim represents the ocean at its most imposing or forbidding moments — before the crash of a wave, or at night, swallowed by darkness. Others capture the sea at its most beautiful, lightly foaming in shades of bronze and teal and washed in sunlight. Each composition is stunning in the most physical sense of the word. Williams’ compositions force the audience to stop, imparting the weight of the chest-deep ocean onto onlookers.

The sub-series Lost and Found features familiar South Carolina coastline at night. The first additions in this series are painted entirely in black. The waves are carved in striking ebony with a palette knife. Natural light plays off the raised texture imparted by the wet-on-wet process and the strokes of the palette knife, creating incredible visual depth and movement along the contours of the water’s surface. As the series continues, light breaks through into the compositions, seemingly lit only by Williams’ lone flashlight and the flash from his camera. The yellow aura from the flashlight bleeds through the bristling water and out into complete darkness. Williams’ use of compositional whitespace highlights the simple, powerful beauty of the ocean but encloses it in a suffocating field of darkness. Every canvas is a confrontation between the artist and his fear on a grand scale, the light pushing back terrible dread.

Aesthetically, his work is impossibly beautiful — individual bubbles rise from fields of foam sitting atop murky ocean. It’s easy to mistake his canvases for the photographs they reference. There is a captivating spectrum present across Swim, between complete darkness and stark daylight. Sky gracefully frames an ocean depicted with great reverence and respect, and at the same time an immutable uncertainty — a fear that can’t help but make its way through Williams’s brush strokes to the onlooker.

But Williams, has more planned for his audience than a glimpse into his phobia and striking waves. “These paintings serve as a personal testimony of my decision to begin a journey toward freedom,” he says. He stresses the importance of his paintings going beyond just inspiring awe, but moreover an understanding of embedded social racism surrounding aquaphobia and the inability to swim. Williams hopes that Swim marks not only a pivotal point in his own life — a step closer to defeating a fear that has robbed him of his own freedom — but a step closer to stemming the tide of institutionalized racism.

Link to the article: http://www.charlotteviewpoint.org/article/3403/CharlesWilliamsSwimSeries

Please contact Morton Fine Art for available work by CHARLES WILLIAMS.

Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

(202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com, http://www.mortonfineart.com