Archive for August, 2009

Profile: Sculptor Jerry Harris Executive Editor

August 21, 2009

Jerry Harris is a sculptor, writer/social critic, and visual artist. He studied sculpture under professor James Lee Hansen, a widely known Pacific Northwest sculptor who taught at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Harris was later accepted into the international sculptor’s program at St. Martins School of Art, London, England, and did special studies in bronze casting, under Henry Abercrombie, at the Central School of Art and Design, London. His teachers at St. Martins were the international sculptors, Sir Anthony Caro and Philip King. He spent time in the studio of the English sculptor Keneith Armitage. He is represented by the if (international fine arts) gallery, Columbia, South Carolina, and is a member of ARS, Artists Rights Society, New York, New York.

Harris has written for Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s national newspaper, Sweden Now magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Pittsburgh City Paper, International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Register Guard, Eugene, Oregon, Ishmael Reed’s Konch magazine, and was contributing writer for Eugene Weekly, Eugene, Oregon.

Harris moved to Stockholm, Sweden, where he was elected into the Swedish Sculptors Association. He lived in Sweden for 20 years, returning to the United States in 1998. He is a pass member of the Associated Artists Of Pittsburgh, Pa., the nation’s second oldest artist’s association. He now lives in Chico, California, and works in San Francisco. He has exhibited nationally and internationally.

George DeFreeze Murphy, Stockholm/New York

Dear new readers, fellow artists, curators, galleries, and all people who are interested in contemporary African American, Latino, and Asian art. BAWA, short for Black American World Art, will soon be bringing to these pages, news from the African American, and “Third World” art scene. And what news it will be! In the past 25 years “colored people” in the visual arts have exploded on the international art landscape. We have Martin Puryear, Richard Hunt, Kara Walker, Willie Cole, Thad Mosely, Howard McCalebb, Lorna Simpson, Phoenix Savage, and yours truly. There are many more, as you will experience in the coming issues.

BAWA will be presenting this eclectic group of artists from across the United States, and the world, and it will not be limited to stuffy old New York City. This will definitely be a multi cultural (Whites too) art magazine, but the emphasis will be on black, brown, and yellow artists. Work, words, music, and people will have exciting things to say. Controversies welcomed. And you dear audience, please feel free to throw in your three cents too. BAWA BAWA. (Below, Jerry Harris with sculpture Dogon Mother and Child)


1. Sidebar. Art news updates

2. New Artists on the block

3. Art Today. BAWA writers and editorials

4. Scroll for more contemporary artists     Picture: Sculptor Jerry Harris

1. jerry harris photo


Here we will be presenting new artists on the block. Some of them are not so new for people in the art world, but that world is so small, and needs to be opened up to larger audiences.


Willie Cole is new to me. I have lived 20 years in the frozen world of Sweden, and now, home again, I am discovering the warmth, humor, and creativity of artists like Mr. Cole. Expatriation is good, but one day one must come home.


Willie Cole’s Speedster tji wara, 2002(L)


Harold Hoy is a respected Pacific Northwest sculptor, based in Eugene, Oregon. He is a Chinese American who taught sculpture at Lane Community College for many years. His works have centered on complex relationships between mankind, and the natural world. Hoy’s current body of work is constructed of galvanized steel and pipe hanger material, and is based partly on an erector set. He uses the child’s toy as a platform to work around larger issues of man’s predilections for claiming ownership of the natural world, and our desire to manipulate and re-form it.

hoyballoondog Harold Hoy, Balloon Dog (below)

Red-Sculpture by Jerry Harris

August 18, 2009

Red is made of forged iron, found objects, nuts and bolts. It is a model for a large outdoor sculpture for a children’s playground. It is spray painted. 17″ X 14 X 4. As a child I certainly never had one like it. I had a brand new Shelby two- wheeled bike that my father and mother bought for me. I was seven-years-old, and my grandmother gave me a silver dollar when I learned how to ride it. Later, my best friend crashed it while testing the brakes for me. It is a wonder that he didn’t get killed. It was a steep hill, in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pa. where I grew up. There were nothing but hills in my old neighborhood. Maybe that is why all the girls had these strong, beautiful legs. Isn’t childhood great.

5. Red



Chakaia Booker was born in 1958 in Newark, N.J. She is an assembled and richly layered individual, creating wearable sculpture. She uses rubber tires in a lot of her work. (Urban

Butter, Chakaia Booker)

HOWARDENA PENDELL (b.1943, Philadelphia, Pa.)

Howardena Pendell is a painter, mixed media artist, curator, and educator. She has taught at major universities, including Yale. Ms. Pendell is known for the wide variety of techniques and materials used in her art work. She creates abstract paintings, collages, “video drawings,” and “process art.”



Michael D. Harris is an artist, professor, scholar and curator. He presently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Harris is a nationally known multi media artist.

WhatAreYou1Michael D. Harris, We are you.




28. The Nightmare at 4 a


Kenyan-born Wangechi Mutu has trained both as a sculptor and anthropologist. Her work explores the contradiction of female and cultural identity. Drawing from traditional crafts, science fiction, and funkadellia.



Fernando Botero was born in Medelin, Columbia. The artist lives in Paris, France. His Abu Ghraib series presents a nightmarish and sadistic world at this infamous prison, which can best be described as Dachau moves to the Middle East. The images of Iraqi prisoners show the sordid  reality of these atrocities.


Jean-Michael Basquiat (b. 1960 d. 1988)

August 18, 2009

Jean-Michael Basquiat didn’t live very long. He produced an impressive amount of work. Although he claimed to be from a poor family, he was, in fact, from a middle class New York City home. His work today sells in the millions of dollars. Excessive drug taking led to his demise. I guess he had fun while it lasted, at least I hope so. He was exploited by his New York City art dealers, and he in turn, exploited them. He palled around with Andy Warhol at The Factory, and the painter Julian Schnabel did an interesting film about him. May he rest in peace finally.

300px-untitled_acrylic_and_mixed_media_on_canvas_by_-jean-michel_basquiat-_1984 Jean-Michael Basquiat


By Jerry Harris

The oil barons with their money tap constantly turned on and bleeding the consumers. It is never turned off. Forged iron, copper, fiberglass, found objects, and wood.

6. Exxon Oil King

Headless Roman Centurion-Jerry Harris

August 18, 2009

This is a relatively new sculpture from the studios of Jerry Harris (2008). I use mixed media quite a bit in my work. This piece is made of carved wood, fiberglass, dowels, found objects, metal, and screws. It is 5 ft. 5 X 1 ft. X 3 inches. Parts of it are painted brown. I loved those old gladiator films when I was a child. Scroll down for full frontal shot.

Head Shot-2

25. Headless Roman Centurion-Head Shot-2

26. Headless Roman Centurion- Head

23. Headless Roman Centurion-

Eugene Martin(d.2005) and Humberto Castro

August 17, 2009

I got into Eugene James Martin’s work almost two years ago. I was introduced to it by his widow, Dr. Suzanne Fredericq, who is a biologist at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Mr. Martin is an artist’s artist. Not one for the limelight. He just wanted to paint. He left thousands of paintings that are as lyrical as Miro’s, with colors that Matisse would admire. I will put up more of his work as I build this page. In the meantime, look up his website on Google. It will be an exploration of an artist who lives in the blue skies.

Eugene James Martin Midnight Golfer, Eugene Martin

Humberto Castro (b.1957)

Humberto Castro(bottom) was born in Havana, Cuba in 1957. He emigrated to the United States from Paris in 1999. He has received numerous international awards, and his work is acclaimed and shown in renowned museums and private collections. This is a recent installation of his.


Sculptor Martin Puryear(b. 1942)

August 17, 2009

As many of you know, from my website,, that I have had my say about Martin Puryear. It had nothing to do with his brilliant career as one of the leading sculptors in the world. I much respect him, and the privacy of his personal life. I believe that he is a very private man, and an artist of few words. Let us all honor him and his achievements.

New Sculpture by Martin Puryear from his 2009 MOMA show.

Martin Puryear

Yinka Shonibare MBE

August 17, 2009


Yinka Shonibarre MBE (b. 1962. UK) Shonibare’s artwork explores contemporary African Identity and its relationship to European colonialism through painting, sculpture, installation, and  the moving image. His work is best known for his visual symbols. He is one of the UK’s most artistic creators.

Black Gold, by Yinka Shonibare (2006)

Yinka Shonibare MBE

Sam Middelton(b.1927)

August 17, 2009

Sam Middelton was born in 1927 in New York City. Although he is an African American, he is considered one of the leading Dutch abstract modern painters. He has lived in Amsterdam since 1962. A world renowned artist who has exhibited around the world.

Adrian Piper

August 17, 2009

Adrian Piper is a conceptual artist, writer, philosopher, and social activist. She has redefined what it means to be a woman of color in a white dominated art world. Her unique approach to art and life has brought with it, controversies. This is good, especially in countries that preach”freedom” with such conviction, as they do in the United States. Yet, Ms. Piper has been stripped of her college teaching position for failing to return to the USA (She lives in Berlin, Germany) to face charges from the U.S. Transportation Agency’s placement of her on the “to watch list.” Let’s wave the red, white and blue for Ms. Piper. Check out her wonderful career and artistic development. Photo: (l) Ms. Piper,

180px-Adrian_Piper Adrian Piper (l)


Ms. Dumas is a white South African painter who specializes in painting black people. She starts from her own experience. ” A lot of me is Afrikan, I don’t have experience of life in the ghetto, or being in prison, or living in the bush. That’s why I won’t paint that.” Indeed, the race of many of her portrait heads is deliberately ambiguous, highlighting volatile and unpredictable emotional states from aggressiveness to extreme passivity. (See John Haber’s article on Ms. Dumas on our Art Today page.) ed.


images(Dumas, boys, and portrait).


Elizabeth Sheppell of the Sander/Hudson gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, loves the physicality of painting, and the process that defines it. Loose shapes repeat and tie one another. The works can be quiet and airy–sometimes complex and charged.

Sheppell.SpillingOut1 Sheppell, Spilling out.


Mr. Harris is also a collage artist. He considers collage as the same building, adding, and taking away of mental blocks, in order to get to the essentials of what one is looking for. He uses the same process in his writing.

IMG_3693ENTER THE SCREAMING ROOM. Collage by Jerry Harris. Courtesy of the if Art Gallery, Columbia, South, Carolina.

THE COSMOLOGICAL EYE. Collage by Jerry Harris, if Art Gallery, Columbia, South, Carolina,


WILLIAM POPE. L (b. 1955, below)

William Pope. L was born in Newark, New Jersey. He is an African American performance artist best known for his work in performance art, and interventionist public art. He has produced painting, photography, and theatre. ” I am a fisherman of social absurdity, if you will…My focus is to politicize disenfranchisement, to make it new, to reinvent what’s beneath us, to remind us where we all come from.”