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Why African American Art?

I get asked this question all too often. Understandably so, mine is not the face you think you'll see when you look at my paintings. As an artist, you paint what you feel, what speaks loudest to you, what compels you. I paint African American Art because the culture is so rich and interesting. Before I moved to the United States, I had a gallery at the American Air force Base. While working there, a majority of my clients were African American, and they taught me so much about your culture. I quickly came to find that at our core we were one and the same, their values were my values and though our experiences were so different our hearts were the same. I felt compelled to paint the stories that they told me of their families and their lives that they were missing while stationed in Turkey. 

When I arrived in the United States, I was shocked to realize that finding African American art in a gallery was nearly impossible. I couldn't understand why black history was not being remembered through art, or why black Christian art was not being celebrated. Or actually, they were being painted, but they were not being carried in galleries and stores. I knew I needed to do something about this, so in 1985 I opened my first art gallery in downtown Manhattan and showcased the artwork of other African American artists that I had the pleasure of meeting while working at other galleries prior. Today, all these years later I still work with those same artists and still have the same amazing clients. A true testament to the power of art. 

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