Absolut Expressions celebrates the experiences and the interpretations of 14 established and rising artistic talents who are also African American. Absolut Expressions demonstrates the continuing evolution of the brand’s artists series as well as an extension of its unique advertising campaign, which allows artists to maintain their independence while using Absolut as patron, curator and inspiration.
Ta-Coumba T. Aiken, a muralist responsible for 17 major public works in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, is the recipient of a dozen awards and honors. Mr. Aiken attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and works in a style he calls “superlative realism.”
Frank Bowling, twice a John Simon Guggenheim fellow, has been shown in more than 35 solo exhibitions and as many group shows since leaving the Royal College of Art in London in 1962. Mr. Bowling, a native of Guyana, says, “The light in my pictures is very different…the light is about Guyana.”
Roy Crosse is a Trinidad original now working in Newark, New Jersey. Mr. Crosse has claimed drawing as his “first voice” but now applies his ideas to sculpture and assemblage as well. His work is well-represented in many private and public collections including the National Museum and Art Gallery in Trinidad and Tobago.
Michael Cummings attended the State University of New York and New York’s Art Student League. An artist and a teacher, he said, “While working in the New York City school system, I learned the value of being a free spirit from the children I taught.”
Malaika Favorite graduated Louisiana State University with an MFA in 1973. Her work has been seen in dozens of one-woman shows and many more group exhibitions. Ms. Favorite is also a poet, essayist and illustrator.
Valerie Maynard is a distinguished artist of Afro-Caribbean and Native American descent, with over 40 years of experience as a professional artist, designer, educator and curator. Maynard’s powerful sculptures, lithographs, etchings, and airbrushed works embody a transforming character, seeking to change specific aspects of our existential condition.
Chevelle Makeba Moore once said, “My narrative paintings involve themselves with issues of transformation and healing, as they relate to the vicissitudes of life” Ms. Moore, a native of Baltimore, graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is presently represented by the Camille Love Gallery in Atlanta.
Charles Nelson Jr., born in Texarkana, Texas, attended Howard University and presently works in acrylic on masonite. “My work is a constant evaluation of self as a part of society. It involves the encoding of specific information and reconfiguring mundane objects into personal symbol.”
Anita Philyaw is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College where art was one of her majors and continued at Columbia University where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. Her work, which is held in numerous private collections, is sometimes abstract, but Philyaw always returned to depicting people of color as an essential theme.
Preston Sampson was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, attended the University of Maryland and presently lives and works in Silver Spring, Maryland. The women in his paintings are