"Hands Up, Don’t Shoot " by Arvie Smith (2021)
22 x 24 inches, Serigraph on paper, Artist Proof #10 of 11 --unframed
I am an artist and educator. My paintings have always been based on the Black man’s state of mind, ever-evolving in the layers of complex history and the day’s political, social, and cultural displays. I confront omissions and violations in American history, and I am fascinated by the commonplace allegiance to the denial of truths running through the hall of our government. I extensively research each painting and draw inspiration from scholars and writers, including James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Du Bois, Michelle Alexander, and most recently, Isabel Wilkerson. My paintings are tableaus of metaphors, icons, and popularized tropes to address contemporary racial politics. I address my viewers with a warm, vibrant palette, humor, rhythm, and movement punctuated by the derogatory stereotypes created to define Black bodies. At age 84, I paint daily, in my home studio in Portland, Oregon.
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