This weeks edition of WISHFUL THINKING takes a dive into the Art world, as World Art Day is coming up on April 15. Detroit born & Morehouse grad, artist Horace Imhotep sat down with The Gallery at Wish ATL to talk about his background and his current body of work LIONS, TIGERS, BEARS AND A DRACO, slated to open in The Gallery in 2020! Bump this weeks mix featuring some soundbites from the interview, check out the transcript below & shop some of our art inspired pieces online here!
Gallery : How did you get started in the arts?
Horace : My mother introduced me to the world of art. When she was a college student, she used to let me run and roam around the art buildings. That is where I saw my first naked women; later, I came to discover that it was a life drawing class and the model was referred to as a “ nude” or “life drawing” model. My mother would drag my brother and I to museums and galleries often and regularly.
Gallery: Can you tell us about your current body of work Lion, Tigers, Bears and A Draco)?
Horace: Lion, Tigers, Bears and A Draco is about a boy and his imagination. The artist statement for this collection is below, which is perfectly captured in words by Eden Araya:”In an alien nation where Ivorian rapacity breeds tricknology, what is left for a boy and his imagination? In a post-crack dystopia where childhood is robbed, the young black imagination redefines the hero’s journey as a framework to birth the conquering outlaw: where castles are traded for forty acres and swords for semi automatics. A dark, yet liberating hologram embedded in the psyche, this imagination lends itself as medicine for the disenfranchised youth. Much like the hero’s journey, however, the outlaw must return home to the simulated terror of reality. LTBAD illustrates a parable that explores the matrix of ancestral memory at the crossroads of Black subjugation.”
Gallery: Tell us a little bit about the painting Draco and Savage?
Horace: It’s based on a Dubois Ideology. But the piece is of a kid and he is having an out of body experience. What you see is a spectrum of anger. You see him going from red hot to yellow hot to white hot to black. So basically saying that whatever you’ve done to this kid, it’s about to go really bad for whoever this energy is directed to. There are a lot of ancestral ties to my work and it’s aggressive. All of my work is coming from a real place and this is a piece that I felt like I was starting to evolve because it speaks to where I am right now.
Gallery: What does your work aim to say? Does your work comment on current or political issues?
Horace: I don’t want to say much; I’m no wordsmith, but imagery is the future. Big words mean very little in certain rooms. I always try to be in “the now”, but make references to the past to give context to the present.
Gallery: How has practice changed over time? Have you always painted in such a graphic way?
Horace: My practice has become push for minimal. As I evolve, or hope to evolve, I look to need to use less to convey more.
Gallery: Who/what are your biggest influences?
Horace: My influences are myself, my mother and father, the ancestors, Charles White, Caravaggio, Lichtenstein, Young Dolph, Dali, Bearden, Nipsey (R.I.P. to the Prophet) and Parks. The list goes on and on, but currently, these are the names at the forefront of my mind.
Gallery: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Horace: My work sometimes speaks to the beautiful uglies of the world.
Gallery: What do you like most about being an artist and why?
Horace: Being an artist is oftentimes a love-hate relationship. To be the best artist, one must tell the truth. It can be her or his personal truth, but at the core there must be genuine and sincere truth. The why of being an artist is something I have never had a luxury of contemplating; I was designed to be who and what I am. I’m some sort of creative operating system. I just perform functions and tasks.