Bright Black: an art share

A month and some change into 2018 and I’m back at it with another art share. I plan to keep it up, ya’ll! You’re welcome 😉


Artist Statement:

My art makes social commentary about black life and black identity. I explore all aspects of black life in America from the nostalgic reverence of small town, southern life to the societal forces that shape modern urban life across the country. My work features black figures as the main characters in the narratives.  Kerry James Marshall often talks about there being a power in seeing the black figure as stars where they are not often seen.  Figures in my art are carved and printed in relief with added layers of texture by screen printing patterns and colors to support the narratives. My aim is to create a new kind of propaganda to spread messages that speak to all aspects of black life. (source)


This weekend, I attended the artist talk for Bright Black, a beautiful installment by Jamaal Barber. Jamaal’s work is so unique. It’s special. Very beautiful + thought-provoking. It feels-literally and figuratively-current and aged at the same time. I guess that means our plight hasn’t changed much since slavery or the civil rights movement.

I tried to capture the detail (with my Galaxy 900.9) and I hope you can see the intricacies of the pieces. Some of this is hand carved work, y’all! That takes precision.

An attendee asked why the eyes were left out on certain pieces and Jamaal’s reasoning is that every artist knows when you draw someone, it’s not really that person until you illustrate the eyes. And you know you have to get them right or it could really be anybody. Hence why they were left out in the Identity Series; these subjects could be me. You. That resonated with me the most.

Support a brother and view more of his work here.

11 thoughts on “Bright Black: an art share

  1. This work literally strengthens me. I’m an illustrator myself, of a very different kind of work. But the power which exists in this guy’s work is rich.

    …I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff like this recently. May sound stupid but I’m convinced there’s a strong level of black power rising, faster and faster throughout the most recent years. This man’s work perpetuates this feeling. This vibe. This energy.

    Liked by 1 person

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