painter

Episode 22: Spencer Evans

“I wanted to find out more about my African identity outside of an American context.”

Spencer Evans is a Dallas-based artist who uses bold colors and dynamic gestures to create portraits that question the African-American identity. Originally from Houston, he earned a BFA from the University of Missouri and an MFA from the University of Texas at Arlington. Evans drew critical praise last year for his first solo show at Dallas’ Conduit Gallery entitled “I Am Because We Are”. The series was the product of research to explore the differences between Black Americans and Nigerian Africans. Examining his ancestral lineage which he traced to Nigeria and Cameroon, the artist worked with the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary and Bowen University to engage on-site interviews in Nigeria. The discussions focused on identity and social constructs looking for differences between Nigerians and the millions of African descendants living in the United States. In the end, Evans encountered a shift of his own point of view as he discovered many similarities between the Nigerians he met and the Black Americans he knew at home. This shift became the basis for his visual exploration of the topic.

I recently sat down with Spencer at his studio in Dallas where we discussed growing up in Houston, playing college football, understanding one’s identity, code switching and challenging preconceptions.

Website: spencerevansart.com

Instagram: @spencerevans_art

Episode 18: Camp Bosworth

“It’s like I’m a country singer so I’m going to sing about Texas. It’s in my soul.”

 

Camp Bosworth is a Marfa-based artist who utilizes wood carving to create sculptures and paintings that reflect the world around him. Often carved and sometimes gilded in gold and silver, these pieces almost always utilize scale to create humor and interest. A native-Texan, Camp received his BFA in painting from the University of North Texas and worked in Dallas until relocating to Marfa in 2001. Camp has since become one of the de facto artists of record in the West Texas art mecca. The themes he explores range from drug cartels to boom boxes to the small-town-Texas Dairy Queen. He regularly exhibits his work throughout the Southwest, including the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie where I was recently able to sit down with Camp to discuss growing up in Texas, the influence of Claes Oldenburg, why it’s better to go big, how Marfa has evolved over the last twenty years, the oddities of interacting with busloads of tourists, giant gilded guns and steak finger baskets.

Website: campbosworth.com

Instagram: @campbosworth