The Painter of Dreams: Interview With Demar Douglas (@DemarDouglas)

The Paint­er of Dreams: Break­ing Bound­ar­ies Through Art 

Anoth­er branch of art is being grown on the boun­ti­ful, inspir­ing and pros­per­ous tree that is hip hop. Demar Douglas a self-styled urb­an sur­real­ist artist who util­ises the art form of hip hop in order to cre­ate his own. Douglas often paints live in hip hop and jazz clubs all over Amer­ica and uses the rhythms along­side the beats in his head to heav­ily influ­ence his art. The res­ult? A cel­eb­ra­tion of the often invis­ible mem­bers of black soci­ety by the main­stream media, from black women with an Afro­centric to over­looked his­tor­ic­al fig­ures such as black cow­boys. Here the Paint­er of Dreams shares with you his meta­phor­ic­al vis­ion.

Q. How would you self-describe your art?

I view my art as urb­an sur­real­ism, I paint what I see in my dreams, and daily inspir­a­tions with a meta­phor­ic­al vis­ion.

Q. What would you say is your favour­ite art move­ment?

My favour­ite art move­ment was the Har­lem Renais­sance.  It gave a voice to an oppressed nation of people whom before nev­er had the same plat­form to express their cre­at­ive voice.

Q. What is your per­son­al taste in music and how does it influ­ence your art­work?

My music­al taste ranges from hip-hop, neo soul, to jazz. I feel the mood of the paint­ing, and the col­our schemes changes accord­ing to what I’m hear­ing. If I’m paint­ing a lively scene with a lot of flow and rhythm then I’m most likely listen to hip-hop. How­ever if it’s a more laid back sen­su­al paint­ing then the mood of the pal­let will be more geared towards neo soul or jazz, due to sub­ject mat­ter.  Music allows me to see col­ours.

demar i am hip hop

Q. Your art­work seems to be very cel­eb­rat­ory and appre­ci­at­ive of the black female in her nat­ur­al form. What do you admire most or what intrigues you the most about black women? 

What intrigues me most about Black Women is the pure strength, beauty, and the abil­ity to over­come struggles. Not to dis­cred­it any oth­er cul­ture, but to embrace what I’ve know from birth to present an inner por­trait of a sac­ri­fi­cial soul in the purest form of the por­trait. Being a Black man in Amer­ica has so many chal­lenges as a whole, for me to ima­gine how much more a woman must endure has promp­ted and inspired me to paint a plat­form where the Beau­ti­ful Struggle of the Black Afric­an Amer­ic­an Woman can be held in the same regards as the Mona Lisa


Q. Espe­cially in the main­stream rap industry black females are often viewed as one-dimen­sion­al video vix­ens. How do you feel about the depic­tion of black women in the media? Do you think your art­work aims to dis­pel these pre­con­cep­tions?

The mass media #TheAm­er­ic­an­Folk­lore has suc­cess­fully pro­moted promis­cu­ity, big booties, drugs, and alco­hol, viol­ence, and con­spicu­ous con­sump­tion with­in some rap videos. The mass media has aspired to over­shad­ow the intel­li­gence, spir­itu­al­ity, strength, and true beauty of black women today. My artist­ic per­cep­tions painted poet­ic­ally do serve as a poten­tial plat­form to present a prop­er present­a­tion of a people mis­un­der­stood. Paint­ings that can express beauty in a nat­ur­al­ist­ic por­tray­al such as the Renais­sance paint­ers have done in the past to hon­our their women, to show a strength and con­fid­ence that is not based upon worldly objects or insec­ur­it­ies, but the essence of the brave bold and beau­ti­ful Ebony Woman.

Q. You have stated that you were moved by the words of friends who claimed ‘I have a degree, but what kind of life would I have if I was locked away in an office all day.’ Do you think soci­ety has become sat­is­fied with mono­tony?

Mono­tony is the world’s anthem as a whole. I feel that most of the world’s pop­u­la­tion is con­tent with just get­ting by, or achiev­ing a cer­tain com­fort level and mar­in­at­ing with­in their chosen  social class, polit­ics, civil rights , friend­ships, mar­riages, par­ent­ing, edu­ca­tion, spir­itu­al­ity,  healthy liv­ing. Where doing just enough to get by is good enough.


For the Dream­ers out there, allow your­self to be encap­su­lated by Demar Douglas’s power­ful images here

In order to appre­ci­ate Demar’s art­work rep­res­ent­ing ‘The Invis­ible’ in soci­ety like his Face­book page

  Maya Rattrey

Maya Rat­trey

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Maya Rattrey

Maya Rattrey

Edit­or / Author at No Bounds
Maya is an aspir­ing writer and revolu­tion­ary whose heart and soul can be found in the Glob­al South. Hav­ing become edit­or of I Am Hip-Hop Magazine at the age of 17, she is keen on using hip hop as a ped­ago­gic­al tool for the oppressed and help­ing fel­low young people into the media industry. Cur­rently a stu­dent, men­tal health work­er and arts facil­it­at­or- Maya brings both her aca­dem­ic and street know­ledge to pro­jects pro­duced by No Bounds.

About Maya Rattrey

Maya Rattrey
Maya is an aspiring writer and revolutionary whose heart and soul can be found in the Global South. Having become editor of I Am Hip-Hop Magazine at the age of 17, she is keen on using hip hop as a pedagogical tool for the oppressed and helping fellow young people into the media industry. Currently a student, mental health worker and arts facilitator- Maya brings both her academic and street knowledge to projects produced by No Bounds.

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