7 African-American Visual Artists To Watch

Artist Miles Regis
By Nikki Igbo
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” French impressionist artist Edgar Degas once made this statement and it could not be truer when considering the contributions of visual artists throughout history. Visual artists, through their work, clarify, expose, underscore and inform in ways that transcend age, ethnicity, language and time. Think Jean Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett—all African-American artists whose work still speaks volumes and has great influence. The following 7 African-American artists are taking the baton from these artistic giants and running us all into a new age of beautiful and much-needed expression.

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How Dianne Smith Turned A Domestic Violence Incident Into Art

Artist Dianne Smith 







 Domestic Violence Month
 “He pushed me on the bed, pinned me down, and started punching me in the face,” recalls Harlem-based artist Dianne Smith, the night her 6’6, 270 lb. boyfriend assaulted her. It was the first time anything like that had ever happened, and when she asked him to go, he refused. She considered calling the police, however, she couldn’t risk them coming to her apartment and potentially killing this ‘big Black man,’ which would only make the situation worse. Besides, she had an important meeting in the morning regarding an art piece she was creating for the 40-year anniversary of the play, ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf.’
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