The vast array of approaches to artmaking produces a perpetually engaging arena for communication and expression. Myriad mediums, philosophies, styles and motivations create a field of inquiry that exists without limits. Even artists working in the same medium, covering similar territory, will generally produce very distinct outcomes. Mark Keffer Class of 88'
The paintings of Kwamé Gomez are a particularly strong example of a distinct vision fueled by an impressively creative visual intellect, and a level of sophistication is displayed that is rare for an artist in the early stages of their career. There is an exuberance and lack of restraint present in these works that make for a stimulating, multi-layered viewing experience. The material makeup of Gomez’ work reflects the general attitude and content of their creative philosophy. The inclusion of fabric, beads, gems and other found materials conveys a sense of freedom and joy. Something of a celebration occurs in connection to the figures depicted, in an effort to imbue these subjects with the inspiration, beauty and respect they deserve.
“Transmission (So those after us may know)”, acrylic, ink, fabric, bead, gem and glitter and found material on mat board, 40 x 32”, 2021
The artist states:
“My work centers on the creation of Ancestral realms, figures, and mythical universes in a futuristic setting. Through the language of collage and mixed media, I explore ceremony as a culmination of sensation, passion, intensity and time. In these realms, shape-based mechanisms of abstraction unite with rhythmic expressions of dreamscape in the pursuit of highlighting the sacred connections between Blackness, nature and the figure as a pictorial vessel for ceremonial usage. In these sentimental domains, spaces are created where Black people can simply rest and exist in our own autonomy.”
This depiction of figures instilled with a clear sense of dignity and self-assurance is prominent throughout Gomez’ work. The color palette in this work is generally highly charged and multi-hued, providing for an ecstatic emotional state. A piece called “Pink Drawing”, creates a similar visual/emotional state with a monochromatic form. The collaged elements and the facile drawing skills lend frivolity and charm to the calm dignity, which is a welcome and nuanced composite of emotions.
“What if love was release? (To let go, an unconditional playing field I wasn’t prepared for: With you by my side I can do anything)”, acrylic and mixed media on mat board, 2021
“April Love’s Not Home (I don’t want to give up on Love, on me: I still believe in painting- in everyday occurrence, in you)”, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 48 x 60”, 2021
"Time transfixed, in you a second becomes a whole: the thing that gaps enlarges, pulls me there with you to me (BlackBerry Molasses)", acrylic, ink, fabric, bead, gem and found material on mat board mounted on wood panel, 80 x 32”, 2021
A healthy dose of exploration runs through the imagery here. The figure is of clear importance in the work, but not the exclusive subject, and there is not a single manner in which the images are created. A work such as, “April Love’s Not Home (I don’t want to give up on Love, on me: I still believe in painting- in everyday occurrence, in you)” stands out as something of a counterbalance to the multi-colored exuberance found in most Gomez paintings. The striking image contains a lone figure that is enveloped in the rich blacks and hot pinks of a depicted interior. A loving, yet economical, approach to the paint handling, color, and rendering produces a mindset that seems at once wistful and stoic. It is a beautiful (and beautifully titled) artwork. The combination of emotional weight and esthetic richness creates an unusually powerful impression.
Kwamé Gomez is an interdisciplinary painter, multimedia visual artist and writer. In 2021 they received their Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the Myers School of Art at the University of Akron. Currently, they are completing their Masters of Fine Arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where they received the New Artist Society Scholarship, and are set to graduate in 2023. Their work has been exhibited at New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, California; SoLA Contemporary in Los Angeles, CA; Center for the History of Psychology, Akron, OH; and Summit Artspace, Akron, OH, among others.
“My Sister deserves so much more (All the flowers in the world for her burdens, her worries)”, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 60 x 60”, 2022