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.
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
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