Mississippi Artist.

Born 23SEP46 in Itawamba County, Mississippi.


I am an old, Black, Mississippi, Native American, Vietnam veteran who started painting at age 55.  In 2000, after being evicted from my Basement apartment in Wrigleyville (which also served as studio space for audio/visual experiments, performance art experiments and vernacular architecture models), I bought a small house deep in the belly of Chicago's Black South Side.  Every year, my former roommate and his new wife give me a trip to Paris, Brussels,Tervuren and/or Dublin.  On 01APR01, one hour after returning from Paris, I spent $100 in Utrecht Art Supply on Michigan Ave., and started painting every morning, from 6-9am; from that day to the present.


My work addresses the industrial, racial and emotional environment of South Side Chicago.  There are large panels of sheet metal colored by applying acids, urine and Mississippi mud, then left outside where Chicago 's prairie sun and rain work their abstract magic.  Burnt plastics from South Side factories are collaged with paneling, moulding, screening , etc., then deeply impastoed. 

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          AndréG1  & AndréG2:  Painted after Bronzeville’s most successful (Black) gallery owner dismissed my work by saying:  “Your work is too depressing, too dark.  Black people like brilliant colors.  Don’t you ever paint flowers; I like flowers….” 

MATERIALITY:  Eyes are stones from my grandmother's grave ( Itawamba, MS ).  Flower petals from graves of Black men aged 18-25, buried in Restvale Cemetery , Alsip, IL .  Teeth are bullet sinkers and broken glass.

          SelfPortrait1  &  SelfPortrait2:  Painted after a South Side conference during which several collectors spoke eloquently on the “naturalness of representational art to Black people.…”  Indeed, one Black artist/curator reprimanded me for being insensitive to parlor room color schemes.  COMPOSITION:  MS mud, paint.

          SelfPortrait3  &  SelfPortrait4:  Painted after Bronzeville’s second most successful (Black) gallery owner showed me to her French doors after dismissing my work thus:  “Your work is too dark.  I could never sell this; it would take too much energy.  My clients buy only positive Black images.”  COMPOSITION:   MS mud, paint.


Then there are the ubiquitous (and dangerous) strips of rusted nails and tacks affixed to many of my paintings.  These Borders, (Frames?) are not unlike the ringing of a bell. The idea expresses the thorns of New World colonization, confined obedience, and power; power within, power without; as well as self-denial, self-hatred and self-destruction.

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I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University With Highest Distinction (Summa Cum Laude). I look forward to the day when I may take my first painting classes, in a "positive" environment.