JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Celebrating Black Culture -- through art: one local artist is increasing representation with every brush stroke.
Chris Clark is a Tallahassee native whose been doing art for more than 30 years. He’s spent six of those as a professional visual artist and muralist -- crediting art and music as his first loves.
Clark says art should document history and promote representation.
“DC, New York, Chicago, Detroit, South Africa -- I get messages online like from students in Brazil all the time... It’s worldwide now,” Chris Clark, Visual Artist & Muralist in Jacksonville, said.
Those are just a few places Chris Clark’s artwork has been seen. He’s a nationally and internationally known artist.
With every piece, Clark’s goal is to increase representation.
“The main theme of my artwork is always been representation,” Clark said. “I remember going to museums and like the artwork is great in there but you don’t see anything that really looks like you in there. So you know I wanted to be that artist that puts the work in there so the younger generations have a reflection of themselves.”
A part of that representation is portraying natural hair in all of its forms.
“That’s always been a big thing in the workplace for a lot of Black People,” Clark said. “Wearing natural hair so I make sure I put that in work whether it’s afros or dreadlocks... You can still be professional. You can still do the job and still achieve things. This is just what we look like. This is what grows naturally from our hair and we should be able to rock it like that.”
Clark has created hundreds of pieces of art through paintings, illustrations, and murals. Through the brush strokes -- Clark aims to colorfully inspire the next generation of artists while intentionally acting as a mirror to society.
“I just want people to be able to look at my art and see themselves in it. It’s important for the youth to see a representation of themselves, because it lets them know that this career is possible for them too.”
While this father of three hopes to continue to inspire people and artists through his pieces, he says the greatest esthetic of his work is introducing his children to culture through art -- something that he didn’t have for decades growing up.
Clark reminds the next generation of artists to do the do work - don’t worry about likes and followers - it will come to you as long as you stay focused on the art.