Art Institute of Chicago / University of Chicago BFA: Studied Art History, Painting, and Printmaking; Lone Mountain College / University of San Francisco MFA: Studied Aesthetics, Art History, and Printmaking
Information Made His Life Matter
By Robert Lloyd
In elementary school when your skin is dark and your nose is broad and your hair is kinky, your peers don’t think your life matters. So, you find a sanctuary in the library. No one beats you up. No one calls you names. You read. You discover how much there is that you don’t know and you can find in a book. A teaching career. A military career. An artist’s career. A medical technical career. A career as a professor of art in Nigeria. African history, philosophy, literature, world travels. Information made his life matter. Charles made his life matter.
I am interested in bringing into focus a particular space of time which most Americans have avoided. I suppose one could say the idea is not to tell a story or narrate history but rather by presenting fragments of history in visual form, ignite thoughts of history in the viewer’s mind at several levels, conscious and unconscious.
The Nigeria Series
The series of paintings and collages is based on my time living and working in West Africa. To express the feeling that Nigeria evokes in me, visually, I use musicians and scenes of everyday life as representational elements with color and movement as the abstract elements overlying the representational ones. Kind of a theory much like music theory can be viewed as cultural constructs. In Western thought, color is described in visual terms, such as pigment or light. In Nigeria, particular in Yoruba land, where I lived, color was described in terms of temperature, from hot to cold, with various colors also having religious connotations. In Nigeria, art is meant to be multiple, multi sensual experience, not simply a matter of sight, something you look at. This series of art represents a distillation of the many feelings I have for West Africa.