Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"The Black Man's Country Club"

I use to be a Barber.  I did it for thirteen years.  During that time I saw so much.  In a Barber Shop you here it all, talks of politics, sex, religion, sports, food, advice about marriage, and advice about divorce.  We had all types of people from all walks of life.  I'm talking Preachers, Pimps, Drug Dealers, Politicians, Police Officers, Chefs, Athletes, Muslims, Christians, Celebrities,  Artists,  Authors, the list goes on and on.  The shop is where I ran into a person who would help influence me in a major way.  I was cutting his hair and over heard him tell someone on his cell phone to meet him at his studio.  I assume he meant a music studio.  I asked him what type of music he did, he said I listen to jazz, but I'm not a musician I'm a Artist, I paint.  He invited me to his studio, I was blown away by his paintings.  But what really took it over the top was the fact he was self-taught.  After leaving his studio I went to painting, I told the guys at the barber shop I was leaving.  I took a leap of fate and that was the starting point of my art career.  That artist whom I'm speaking of was William Tolliver.  When I think back if it wasn't for the Barber Shop, I wouldn't be typing even this blog.  It was a fascinating experience, one I will never forget.   So to all my ex-customers all the fellow barbers I've worked with (Tom, Bill, Brian, Derrick, Kid, John, Doreen, Roy, and Carla), I say thank you.  You will always hold a special place in my heart.

Here's a few photos out of many I've taken of the shop.  Which some say is, "The Black Man's Country Club"

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vintage Photos

I use vintage photographs in my paintings and photography.  So I get excited when I come across some great images.  

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Meow !!!!!

December 25, 2008 a legend passed.  Eartha Kitt (the original Catwoman & Material Girl).  If you Google her you will see how this woman came from the direst of circumstances to the rise of  a major actor, singer, dancer, and activist of her time.  Rest in Peace Ms Kitty.

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Praise the Lawd !!!!"

My grandmother was and still is a big influence in my life.  I use to go to church with her in a small town called  Thomaston, GA.  I remember sitting in the pew with a pocket full of peppermint candy while she stood at the entrance of the church.  She wore a white uniform with white gloves, white shoes and a silver ribbon pinned to her with the words Usher. The church didn't have central air and it would get scorching hot.  The flies were terrible and some of the times the water fountain in front didn't work.  Everyone would fan themselves with these paper fans with the image of Martin Luther King or Jesus on the front.  I never knew the words to any of the hymns that were sung, and still today I couldn't sing you a verse.  But the feeling that I got back then when the choir sang , even as a kid made the hairs on the back of my neck raise.  I thought it was the Holy Ghost touching me.   From time to time I would be a little mischievous horse playing with my cousins.  We would laugh at the way the Preacher spoke.  When he preached he would sometimes make this sound as if he had the hiccups.  My grandmother would see us laughing.  She had a way of gritting her teeth to let you know you were going to get it when you got home.  Believe me when I say I had my share of whippings, but I know in the end it was all out of LOVE.  So as a tribute to Catherine Smith I've taken photographs of small country churches that reminds me of the small church she attended.  It's an ongoing project, here's a few.  Hope you enjoy them as I enjoyed photographing them.  Sometimes while I'm shooting I can here the old choir sing and then I break out into my Reverend Strickland imitation minus the hiccup and say, "Praise the Lawd, Praise the Lawd !!!!!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Two Gorillas to go !!

Well I finally finish the paintings for the show in Paris totaling 18.  The truck came to pick up the work, they will drive them to NYC, crate them then ship to Paris.  I felt like this Silverback Gorilla just jump off my shoulder.  Now I have to work on getting the other two gorillas of my shoulders too. Lately I've been getting inspired by images of vintage sports  and circus photos.  I've already started incorporating them in my paintings, also I'm working on something interesting I will release on a later date.  Christmas Eve, I guess Santa's elves aren't the only ones working in the middle of the night. Merry Christmas to all, hope the economy doesn't have everyone down, let's get back to what Christmas really means, being surrounded by people you love and giving praise for what you do have.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Paris or Bust !!

Here's three of the paintings that will be included in my solo show in Paris, with Galarie Nordine Zidoun, January 17, 2009.  This will be my first show out of the country.  I'm also having a solo show in New York with Dillon Gallery a week before, showing my paintings and photography.