Doomed to Repeat

by - June 14, 2015

Doomed to Repeat
Opening Reception June 26, 6-9pm
Circuitous Succession
500 South 2nd Street

Work on display June 26 - July 24

Lawrence Matthews

My work is a small glimpse into the experience of Africans Americans throughout history. My paintings reveal the peculiar history and circumstances of African Americans, as well as address the lack of attempts to understand people of color. This work is being created from the point of view of a young black man, who grew up with constant awareness of his “otherness”. Being raised in an all white neighborhood: being told by kids parents that I couldn’t play with their children; as well as having my home vandalized multiple times; informed me that I was different. Being the only black student in class, followed in stores, being followed and harassed by police, only made me more aware of my race and societal limitations.

I bring my experiences into this work and the images I choose to paint. The large, small, famous, unknown and unimportant are all represented in this work. My goal is to not only provide a new life and audience to these stories and appropriated images but also to educate. These pieces bring these images and stories to people who otherwise wouldn’t care about or normally be exposed to them. The paintings are graphic and appear to be created on found wood. I use black oil paint to bring out the weight and bleakness of the situations being painted.

This work holds a mirror to the ignored past of this country. These paintings are about emotion, hope, pain, suffering, love, hate, sadness and anger. My goal is for the history to be felt. From police brutality, segregation, the assassination of black leaders, to lynching, I hope to create pieces that put one in that moment in time. For both African Americans and Caucasians, the work allows one to confront topics that are uncomfortable with the goal of creating a dialog which can open minds and educate. My art is facing our own reality, our own past, and communicating that if we choose to ignore it we are doomed to repeat it.

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