James Flowers has long been a fan of portraiture, even before he fully understood what it was. Growing up he enjoyed creating lifelike, close-up portraits of my family and friends. For the majority of my childhood and early adulthood, he worked mostly with pen and pencil on paper. Growing up in rural Louisiana, he was never introduced to real art. He didn't begin painting until 2008 when he was asked to do a portrait by a family member. He accepted the job as a challenge, used acrylic and canvas for the first time and from that point on the brush and he have been inseparable.
As time passed and he became more immersed in art, his need to learn more grew. He discovered the bustling world of museums and galleries only one hour from my hometown of White Castle, Louisiana in New Orleans. It was there that he developed a love for the Neoclassical style of portraiture, which embodied everything he loved about portraits.
Today, he tries to create portraits that are up close and personal. They allow him to not only depict the intimate details of the subjects' facial features, but to convey the message of their deepest thoughts and desires through their expressions. He continues to use acrylics and canvas, but he has developed a love of oils and other surfaces, especially steel. Having never been trained as an artist, he finds the experience exciting, as well as educational. He plans to continue growing as an artist, nurturing his own gifts, and sharing his art and love of art with the world.
My latest series, Is the Black Woman God?, focuses on the many ways Black women have contributed to the overall well-being of the planet. It is also my answer the the lack of representation of the divinity, godliness, or angelic qualities of black women in art history. My piece for this exhibit, Does She Walk on Water?, pays homage to the many miracles that black women have created as they protected, nurtured, and resurrected their families from certain doom. The steel used in my art represents the nature of black people in America. They formed the framework, the backbone, and the support that pushed this nation into the modern era.
Does She Walk on Water?
Because of the many miracles created by the Black woman in a society that continues to minimize her, this question alludes to her God-like ability to change the world around her.