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Kerry James Marshall

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KERRY JAMES MARSHALL

Born in 1955, Birmingham, Alabama
Lives and works in Chicago


Untitled, 2009
acrylic on pvc
61 1/8 x 72 7/8 x 3 7/8 inches

  

 

 

 

       

Untitled (Painter), 2010
Acrylic on pvc panel
47 1/2 x 43 x 4 inches

Although he currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois, his time spent in Watts, Los Angeles, California where he observed the Black Power and Civil Rights movements had a significant impact on his paintings). Strongly influenced by his experiences as a young man, he developed a signature style during his early years as an artist that involved the use of extremely dark, essentially black figures. These images represent his perspective of African Americans with separate and distinct inner and outer appearances. At the same time, they confront racial stereotypes within contemporary American society.This common theme appeared continuously in his work throughout the subsequent decades, especially in the 1980's and 1990's.

 

While earning his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, he worked under the notable Charles White and Arnold Mesches. At Otis, he developed his realist style after experimenting with large-scale drawings and collage, choosing instead to “mak[e] a meaningful picture that did not have a representational image or a specific story to tell,” over abstraction. Thus, Marshall still retains the political content so important to the Civil Rights Movement while painting a narrative through mural-sized pieces.