Chino Amobi Is a multimedia artists who combines art, painting, design, music, writing, and film with a rich assemblage of styles and voices. Amobi is a co-founder of the independent record label NON Worldwide and creative director of EROICA. In 2016 he released the EP Airport Music For Black Folk and in 2017 released his debut album Paradiso to critical acclaim. He received his MFA in Visual Communication at VCU. Amobi also earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCU. Chino has performed internationally including the New Museum New York, MOCA Los Angeles, South Korea, Russia, France, and Brazil.
LIFE ITSELF IS A FLOWER
21 Hour flight from Richmond to Melbourne. Sitting still. Moving at Mach 3. Disembodied. Blurring. Flowers in Wind. Fully present. Violent Beauty. Every movement is a barcode. Smoke Machine. Strobe lights. Empty field of yellow flowers near the Fluorescent Airport. Mumbai to Tallinn. Tallinn to Toronto. Toronto to Chania. Chania to Chesterfield. Compressor. Compressing, Dissolving air compressing nightclubs and pastorals. Magic hour. Screaming Flowers. Sea breeze Light trail. Disembodied voices. Zero Seasons. Fall, Winter, Summer, Spring. Zero seasons. Ghost Orchid. Non-anthropomorphic. Lilies of the valley. inflight Van Gogh biopic by Julian Shnabel. Smoke Machine, full on sprint, LIGHT, lens flares, Mach speed, GLOWING. Fully embodied delicacy. EROICA. You become the flower. Beyond Revolution. Disembodied Interior Design. Read this faster. Fully present. Heat without heat. Pain without pain. Speed. Medieval flow state. Shaken not stirred. LIGHTNING brushstrokes. Prayer. Movement. Satori, Total Freedom. Sensory Deprivation, out of focus, Niether Hot nor cold, Dessication from the world of sense. Sensing everything. Wanting nothing. Every flower crashes into G-D on mute. Dont try to understand it, just feel it. You are the flower. Faster than the algorithm. The wind moves through you. At peace with Plastic flower mystical nothing nature. Dying Father. Dead Flower. Living Water. Bliss. Via Negativa. Florence to New York. Bliss. Shalom. Flourish.
My near death experience was a flower.
Over the past three years, James has moved three times with his family. He’s moved from the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area which he called home most of his life, to Wilmington, NC to Newport News, Virginia. When your home base and your surroundings change so quickly, you can sometimes feel like your sense of identity is shifting.
For James, art was his way of claiming “home” in his different surroundings. In Changing Lanes, his latest collection, James explored new worlds, organic form, layered color combinations and ideas for reimagining landscapes. This work allowed him to understand that as we move, we have to redefine the term “home” and create the space and place where we can live wholeheartedly.
Ironically, James’ latest home overlooks James Baldwin Street in honor of the late, African American author. He famously wrote, “Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”
Densely- layered color field, large-scale abstract gestural paintings that are built up through layers of acrylic paint, graphite, ink and tape on canvas. Subject matter derives from photographs, complicated interiors, exteriors, maps and landscapes achieving a calligraphic complexity that resembles dense social environments.
Curtis Newkirk, Jr.
Curtis Newkirk Jr. was born in 1989 in Woodbridge, Va. In 2019, he received his BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Integrated Communication and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Curtis has previously shown work in exhibitions at The Maria V. Howard Arts Center in Rocky Mount, NC, and at Shockoe Artspace in Richmond, VA, amongst several other galleries. Curtis currently resides in Richmond, VA with his wife, Carolyn, and two children, Henley and Briden.
This body of work was inspired by society’s forced standards, labels, and restraints that are placed on people, especially on African Americans. My intent was to use my voice to point towards a kind of joy and freedom that we all long for, the kind that breaks society’s chains and creates helpful and life-giving dialogue. Through improvisation and abstract brush work, juxtaposed with hard lines and refined figures & structures, I am attempting to communicate the contrast between my chaotic thought process and the realizations of truths that are taking place.
Josh Williams was raised in Hampton, Virginia. He came to Richmond, Virginia in 2013 to earn his bachelors degree in Communication Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and has been living there ever since. Josh is vocationally a product designer and is currently working at Snagajob to help build digital tools for employers. Josh is married to his wife Deanna with whom he has had two children, James and Noah. After having taken a hiatus from painting after graduating in 2016, he began working on his current body of work in 2019 using the two-hour margin at the end of his day after his kids go to sleep.
If the process of making is defined as ordinary, then it will be informed by the other ordinary stimulus within the day-to-day and reflect the space and time available for it. This is the case whether I’m designing a website, crocheting a sweater for my wife, or creating paintings. My current body of work is the culmination of those two ideas; I have limited time and limited space (which produces smaller work), but countless likes and influences. As such, my work can be more likened to delicious, addictive snacks than full course meals. Sneakers, sonic the hedgehog, cartoons, it’s all somewhere in those bites.