February 11, 2020
He lives with his wife and dog, Nicholas, in Portland, Oregon. He is an elegant painter, with an almost invisible brushstroke, rich sense of color and works in what might be described as a refined old world style (though, in today's art world, this is open for debate!) What makes his work distinctly contemporary is the way he combines "antique" elements with homoerotic sensuality and comedy by creating portraits of 18th and 19th century style cross dressers, often using himself, as the model. Stephen writes: "A play of gender is probably the most recognizable aspect of my work; I’ve often been referred to as the 'man in a dress,' artist. I'm always asked why - politically or psychologically - I choose to portray myself this way. The simplest way to explain it, is that I identify as non-binary. So, painting myself the way I do, as a man in women's clothes – I never really try to create the illusion that I'm female – it is, rather, a way of expressing this important part of my identity, the closest representation of a whole-self. And then, women's clothes are just a whole lot more interesting visually, and a lot more fun to paint!"
February 11, 2020
Knowing him has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, as, not only is Charles imminently gifted and insightful, he is a great friend. Charles, who lives in Atlanta with his wife, paints worlds with their own rules, values and characters. What excites him is combining and presenting real world elements in a surreal atmosphere, hopefully to get us to stop and ponder, “What's going on here?” Charles tries not to take himself too seriously (a big problem for adults) and this also flavors his work. - Timothy Tew
February 5, 2020
though he and Timothy have known each other for many years. Cedric's work addresses the issues of inclusion and recognition of blacks in America history. He writes: “When you don’t have many examples of the accomplishments of blacks or their contributions to the world, you also don’t develop a sense of pride or confidence in yourself. When you don’t think you have options, you don’t have hope. This led me down a negative path, of getting in trouble and hanging with others who were suffering from the same issues. I don’t think many people realize the importance of being able to see someone who looks like you, accomplish things you never thought existed.”
The paintings in this show consist of the “Couture” series, which addresses the fact that while blacks are big consumers of luxury goods, they are still a very low percentage of the models on the runway or in campaign ads. The “Southern Trees” series addresses the negative association blacks have with trees, especially in the south, where trees stand for lynchings. “I’m attempting to challenge that negative view with beautiful imagery of blacks sitting or standing on branches, such as poplar, magnolia, oak, cherry blossom, and pecan trees. The people are painted small (bird size) to emphasize the tree as a larger than life symbol.”