Between October 2013 and January 2014, HMA exhibited a selection of paintings by the North Carolina artist Juie Rattley III in a one-person show called Chaos and Control. At that time, Rattley spoke about how he experiences his creativity. “The artwork I create is an avenue to be both creative and expressive, and it provides me with a wide variety of opportunities to present my perception of the way I see things. I view my work as a tool to create a visual document to freeze time, meaning that when I am caught in the moment of painting, I use my hands and my paint as a record of my life. For this reason, no matter how much the world around me moves or changes, the information that I am recording remains permanent. I feel it is my job to capture each person’s gesture correctly in my work, because I feel a single gesture frozen in time can reveal much about a person’s personality.”
This exhibition at HMA included a series of self-portraits Rattley created after his childhood friend Curtis DeAngelo "DD" Lennon was killed in an apparent home invasion on May 18, 2007. Rattley says that through these self-portraits, "I show various expressions of anger, resignation, and sadness. ... Since painting has always been therapeutic for me, I felt the only way to address his death was to incorporate it into the visual language of art. I have always felt that if I created paintings about my life, I would stay true to myself as a painter and would always have something to paint about.
He continues about his friend's death, "Today, gun violence has become a global situation. As a visual artist who experienced a loss to gun violence, I feel it is my job to use the visual language to enlighten people about the effects of gun violence. I believe with this body of work, I will make a change locally and internationally on this issue. Therefore, I feel the more we educate the world about gun violence, the more crime rates will drop."
Born in Lumberton in southeastern North Carolina, Juie Rattley III (pictured on right in 2008) was educated at Southeastern Community College, UNC/Pembroke, and UNC/Greensboro where he earned a Masters in Fine Arts. He now teaches at Guilford Technical Community College and Guilford College even while continuing his successful career as a painter. His work is exhibited and collected across the East Coast.
Works from the Museum's collection by artists who were influenced by the Harlem Renaissance movement will be exhibited at HMA between February 6 and May 29, 2016 . Artists will include Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Sharif Bey, Juie Rattley III, Kara Walker and more. (Links connect to HMA blog posts about each artist.)
Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since our blog's inception in March 2015.