Clarence Heyward – Family Matters
Dimensions: 73 x 121″ framed / 72 x 120″ unframed
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Clarence Heyward grew up watching the show Family Matters, and for him, it represented the happiness of childhood. In his painting “Family Matters,” he depicts his own family enjoying time together. However, he makes the family portrait a diptych, so that if he were taken out of the equation, he’d like his wife and daughters to have a portrait of themselves as he hopes they would be–able to live a happy life as a family, without him.
Clarence was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He is a painter and collagist whose work explores notions of the Black American experience. Heyward tackles cultural truths, stereotypes, and questions identity in his work. He “paints his truth” and uses persons of color as subjects in his work as homage to his culture. Among his most prevalent subjects are members of his own family, as well as himself. His intimate knowledge of their lived experience informs his fresh and direct approach to contemporary figuration. He often uses the chromakey green color to reference the video concept of a green screen, upon which any background or reality can be superimposed. His use of chroma key in his recent paintings evokes a sense of possibility within identity, and a recognition that who we see is a function of who we are as observers.
Though Clarence is brand new on the contemporary art scene, two museums have already purchased his work and offered him exhibitions–the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. The Harvey Gantt Center for African American Art and Culture will exhibit his work for 2022.