Larry Richardson ~ Artist
Acrylic on canvas
48" x 36"
The writing on the letter dropping from
the hand of the figure in the foreground says in French: "Set
us free for we are men created in his image".
Slaves quite often took the names such
as Courage, Venture, and Freedom in their quest for dignity and freedom.
Represented by BlackCommentator.com
For purchasing details please contact
Larry Richardson at [email protected]
Since I returned to painting in 1995 I
have wanted to express the beauty in our African heritage. To show
the diversity that the Diaspora gave us in various other cultures
in the world. I have tried to present our culture as seen not only
in the context of the pain and suffering inflicted on us in the days
of slavery but to bring forward those cultural contributions, and
legacies we left in Spain, France, Italy and other places of the world.
Truly, that is what the Diaspora was about... the dispersion of culture.
When looking at the many histories on art
and researching many of the famous old masters, our image is present
even in medieval times. Anti-Black racism in the modern sense was
unknown in the Middle Ages; Blacks were simply part of the human race.
In the latter Middle Ages there were even
black saints and one of the Magi was accurately shown as black. Most
literature on Black American artists is approached as though it was
a form of expression separate from the so-called majority culture.
This critical isolation in terms of art comes from the tradition of
classifying people and their culture by race. I feel the crucial issue
is the quality of work and it’s relevance to the society in
which it was created.
As an artist it is not my color that gives
me the inspiration or the capacity to produce a desired result, but
the ability to be sensitive to the various conditions of life that
face all mankind.
My first showing of some of these paintings
was called “Lost Images Found Paintings from the Soul”
reinforcing the importance of our culture in various parts of the
Three shows followed after that.
One expanded on cultural isolation and the other specifically was
to present a new approach to Afro-American figurative art merging
the contemporary and the classical forms.
The objective of my vision is to
heighten the awareness of those who view figurative images in my art
and to stimulate one’s thought and imagination. The end result
is a series of paintings and drawings that form cultural links between
our past and our future.