A man will never be a man without first understanding the female.
My mother gave me birth. In her infinite love, she realized my talents while I was yet a small child. I am an artist because of her. Through the process of life’s lessons; my mother taught me to believe in myself when others doubted, stand up for those who have not the strength to stand up for themselves, be proud and hold my head high, educate my mind and body to the fullest, never give up no matter what and most importantly, keep my faith in GOD.
Becoming a single father to a daughter also put all the lessons learned from my mother to the test and, in fact, I am still being tested today. The joy and heartache that comes with bringing a child into this world helped me wake up and put a stop to my foolish ways. I learned to love and disciplined softly. I had to realize that someone other than myself depended on me. The little voice that called me “Daddy” was intently watching me with her innocent intelligence, unbeknownst that one day she too would become a woman with children of her own.
When you have done well in life and realize the need to share your treasures are better enjoyed with another than alone that is when you are given your soul mate. My wife is, unequivocally, is my soul mate. Her love and understanding for me is unmistakable. She came into to my life when I was ripe with the knowledge of acceptance. We share the same values in life and our deepest emotions are locked in embrace. I am what I am and she believes in me as I believe in her. So I create with her love.
As a male artist, my greatest stumbling block has been my inability to get in touch with my emotions. The lessons I have learned from women have profoundly enhanced my creative approach. Women are fearless when it comes to expressing emotion and that is how I want to create, fearlessly. I have felt great joy by relinquishing the cloak of masculinity that holds so many men back from expressing their true emotions. I am no less of a man because of this, but a much greater artist and a much more passionate human being. My focus of this artist statement is on the three women who have had the greatest effect in my life and the unending love and devotion I have received from the female spirit.
This exhibit is my way of giving gratitude to all women because without you, there is no us!
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to send you into your weekend with the work of Chukes in here in your Instagram feed. In previous research for this series of artists, I stumbled upon the work of this incredible artist, drawn in initially by the work seen here in this first image. I think i googled “chukes art” and found that image on someone’s pinterest board (link in bio), I could never find a title for that work or a larger image of it, but that link led me to more work and eventually to Chukes’ website. What i found there – the words behind the works, which were as touching and powerful as the images i had already fallen in love with. I don’t have enough characters to quote the whole writing from Chukes’ homepage, so I CHALLENGE you to take the time to click the link in our bio and then click through to the artist’s website and read the short few paragraphs about the inspiration in his life and artwork. (Then be sure to explore the sculptures shown there as well).I also read on his website about a show at Hearne Fine Art, a gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas. In case you don’t know about this little gem, founded in 1988, Hearne Fine Art “has grown and evolved into a dynamic conduit for the preservation and promotion of African-American fine art.” (link in bio).
But back to the show he referenced, “UBUNTU: I am because WE are” was on display last fall for 5 weeks, and featured mixed media work from Chukes as well as other artist featured in their gallery. Now i will quote: “The concept of Ubuntu purports that we are all intrinsically connected and within the scope of humanity, it is impossible to prosper in any manner while operating as an island unto oneself. This exhibition will put this philosophy in practice with a showcase of mid-career artist who have made a mark in their communities and regions. While the exhibit will debut at HFA, the goal is to travel the show to each artist’s respective region.” I suspect that the pandemic may have halted traveling plans for this show, however i do hope that when we finally are able to truly emerge from our solitude that we can REALLY celebrate UBUNTU.