John Singletary, Painting

John Singletary






 
Artist Statement

My work focuses on the proximity of death in blackness and the emotion that accompanies that idea. I work in a figurative manner and challenge the way black bodies have been displayed historically within movements like orientalism, and use these bodies instead as vehicles to communicate vulnerability and pride. My father is a civil rights activist which I believe provided me with a clearer lens in viewing my own experiences. These experiences have become more prominent having lived in the city of Waco for recent years, a city famous for its deeply rooted racism.

I contemplate biblical narratives, and life in the south both through the lens of my personal identity in blackness and spirituality and illustrate those ideas through my compositions, color palettes, and brush work. I work fluidly between representation and abstraction in an intuitive manner, while often rendering the figure with reverence and delicacy. The figures seem to exist in a space between life and death, not entirely filling either one. I paint the bodies with a vulnerability and sensibility that has seldom been offered to my community throughout history. I feel that exploring the idea of death in relation to the black individual is an act of unity, and an attempt to confront and face the afterlife of slavery.

Care Taker, John Singletary, 2019, Oil and charcoal on canvas, 16 x 20
Care Taker, John Singletary, 2019, Oil and charcoal on canvas, 16 x 20
Devil's Pie, John Singletary, 2019, Oil and charcoal on canvas, 23 x 23
Devil's Pie, John Singletary, 2019, Oil and charcoal on canvas, 23 x 23
Elijah, To the End of Time, John Singletary, 2020, Oil, ink, and charcoal on canvas, 24 x 24
Elijah, To the End of Time, John Singletary, 2020, Oil, ink, and charcoal on canvas, 24 x 24
Jochebed, John Singletary, 2020, Oil and charcoal on canvas, 24 x 36
Jochebed, John Singletary, 2020, Oil and charcoal on canvas, 24 x 36
Myrtis, John Singletary, 2019, Oil on canvas, 16 x 20
Myrtis, John Singletary, 2019, Oil on canvas, 16 x 20
Old man sorrow’s / Come
to keep me company /
Whispering beside me /
When I say my prayers, John Singletary, 2020, Charcoal and oil on newsprint, 24 x 36
Old man sorrow’s / Come to keep me company / Whispering beside me / When I say my prayers, John Singletary, 2020, Charcoal and oil on newsprint, 24 x 36
Redbone, John Singletary, 2020, Charcoal and oil on newsprint, 24 x 36
Redbone, John Singletary, 2020, Charcoal and oil on newsprint, 24 x 36
Tyler, John Singletary, 2019, Oil on canvas, 16 x 20
Tyler, John Singletary, 2019, Oil on canvas, 16 x 20