Black art in America has a rich history, dating back to the early 20th century with artists such as Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, and Romare Bearden, who used their talents to convey the experiences and struggles of the African American community. Today, black art continues to evolve and flourish, with contemporary artists like Demarcus McGaughey leading the way.
McGaughey’s latest series of artwork, titled “Hueman: People of Color,” is a stunning tribute to contemporary creatives and challenges societal norms regarding race and colorism. By painting his subjects in glowing alabaster hues rather than traditional black and brown skin tones, McGaughey invites us to consider the beauty and depth of individuals beyond their skin color. His unique approach to artistry showcases the spiritual and powerful nature of people, and the pieces explore the concepts of colorism and socio-political and economic equality.
In McGaughey’s own words, culture is not just encapsulated in skin color, but also in the struggles, resilience, survivorship, and mental health of individuals. The “Hueman” series celebrates these aspects of humanity and invites viewers to connect with the subjects on a deeper level. McGaughey engages in intimate conversations with his subjects, discussing their inspirations, fears, dreams, and acceptance. Through these interactions, he offers visual life coaching sessions into the minds of people of color.
McGaughey’s work is a continuation of the legacy of black art in America, challenging the viewer’s concept of beauty and offering an opportunity for people to color both inside and outside the lines of their own humanity. As we celebrate contemporary black artists and their impact on society, it’s important to recognize the significance of their work in shaping our cultural landscape.
Through their art, black creatives have the power to inspire, challenge, and transform the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. Demarcus McGaughey’s “Hueman: People of Color” is a testament to this power, offering a vision of beauty, strength, and resilience that transcends the limitations of race and color. As we continue to explore the states of black art in America, may we embrace the beauty and diversity of our shared humanity and celebrate the many ways in which art can inspire us to create a better world for all.