The steady gaze from the eyes of a strong black woman stare back at the viewer in “Woman in Headwrap” by Maurice Evans. The piece is a mixed media work showing the subject in jet black skin wearing a colorful head wrap that jumps off a gun metal grey background.
“The only thing we have in life is art and love.”
Maurice Evans’ creative focus was first realized through the lens of music. Born in Smyrna, TN, his father was a military man but also a gifted drummer and singer in a gospel choir. He introduced Maurice to guitar lessons at the age of 4, and these lessons along with his exposure to the music of Al Green, Chaka Khan and Marvin Gaye, inspired his early, creative growth. As his family settled in Georgia, Maurice began to draw more upon his artistic instincts in high school due to his parent’s divorce and the stunting of his musical outlet by not being selected to join the school band. His mother, a teacher, supported and reinforced his creative ability by allowing him to help design her classroom bulletin boards each year. By the time Maurice graduated, he not only gained recognition as a talented artist at Griffin High School, but also the confidence to pursue his passion. In 1986, he was accepted to the Art Institute of Atlanta where he studied Fashion Illustration to intentionally advance his painting and drawing skills.
After college, Maurice pursued a number of odd jobs working for small and large design firms, but ultimately could not achieve the artistic freedom he yearned for as an independent artist. In 1994, with the support of his family and friends, he had his first successful exhibition at the juried Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. From there, he soon bought at booth at the New York Art Expo where he was introduced to new clients and collectors. As his independent career launched, his work was exhibited in numerous galleries and venues where he received national and international acclaim.
Today, Maurice Evan’s artistic creativity is expressed through a diverse mixture of art and photography. A walk through his gallery reveals an interpretation of ideas and imagery through a lens of bold colors, graceful images and abstract expressions. The vocabulary of his palette articulates unique expressions of music, culture, gender, and politics - all of which reflect his limitless potential. Maurice Evans resides in Atlanta, GA, never far from a sketch pad, and lives by the premise, “Create art for art’s sake,” inspiring viewers and artists alike to pursue their artistic and creative passion.
The phenomenal and thriving artist Lina Iris Viktor will present her first major museum exhibit at The New Orleans Museum of Art, opening this fall. Titled Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred, the installation will be on display from October 5th, 2018 through January 6th, 2019.
A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred will feature an entirely new body of work created by Viktor that investigates the narratives surrounding America’s involvement in the founding of Liberia. Throughout the exhibit, the artist reimagines the rich history of Liberia’s colonial past. “Liberia appears in Viktor’s re-imagining as a kind of paradise lost, and as a cautionary tale,” said Allison Young, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of Contemporary Art. “At the same time, her work transcends this narrative, revealing how examples of visual culture—from Dutch Wax fabrics to national emblems to gestures in the history of portraiture—exist as remnants of these colonial histories.”
Based in New York, the British-Liberian artist is highly known for her luxurious large-scale paintings and installations that are adorned with gold and include references to both modern and traditional West African culture.
“NOMA is pleased to present Lina Iris Viktor’s exhibition, and to foreground a lesser-known history of which the American South was a part,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “In this series, Viktor offers her unique perspective on a complex and multifaceted history.”
Programs related to the exhibition feature conversations led by Lina Iris Viktor and Allison Young, a film series, and a special talk with Viktor and curator Renée Mussai. For more information, please visit NOMA READ MORE........