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 Elese

Maya Rat­trey

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Maya Elese

Maya Elese

Edit­or / Author at No Bounds
Mul­ti­lin­gual Lon­don born, bred & based print & broad­cast journ­al­ist, presenter, DJ & cul­tur­al pro­du­cer with a par­tic­u­lar love for glob­al afro-dia­spor­ic cul­tures. @mayaelese on everyth­ang.

About Maya Elese

Maya Elese
Multilingual London born, bred & based print & broadcast journalist, presenter, DJ & cultural producer with a particular love for global afro-diasporic cultures. @mayaelese on everythang.

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