Framed Gallery
African American Art
Framed Gallery
African American Art

Curtis Woody

As a visual artist, I get to play around with boundless visual elements I can gather and juxtapose them to give me and the viewer particular reference points to elicit something perceptive in our visual memories. With these elements I have created a series which I refer to as "quilt paintings". I begin each painting with a geometric vocabulary of hand-cut museum board blocks. The block grid is the conceptual underpinning of each quilt painting. I create these paintings with the understanding that each block has a life of its own.
Some are painted with gesso or modeling paste for a raised surface. Other important elements of the paintings are the colors. My challenge is to create an arrangement of colors that have contrast yet blend together. My goal is not to pre-plan the end results, rather to let the feelings and the
emotions of the overall design dictate how each block fit together. Mediums may include acrylic, pastel, graphite, texture crackle or clay paint. I incorporate beads, rope,paper, grommets, fabric, hot glue and various other objects while constructing the blocks. Inspiration comes from many sources. I incorporate images of Adinkra symbols, the Bassa alphabets of Liberia and small segments of authentic slave narratives. Other sources of inspiration are from early 19th century quilt makers. They used secret codes images,(hidden messages) that were sown into quilts hung from windows of safe houses during the Underground Railroad
movement. Some replicas of old newspaper advertisements, articles, messages and photographs occasionally accentuate the compositions while adding a symbolic richness to the paintings. The meaning of the attached elements often becomes clearer to me as they are assembled. Because of the multi-layering it is my expectation that the creation becomes a thoughtful, spiritual, interesting, sensitive and ongoing experience for the viewer.

  • Mammy's Little Baby