Briefly describe the work you do.
My main medium of choice is oil on canvas. I also work with charcoal and pencil drawings on paper and digital artwork, by use of Photoshop and Illustrator.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I have always been passionate about art. It wasn’t until undergraduate college that I became sure that I wanted to pursue art. What really motivated me was during my senior year, the school hired a new painting professor, Michael Dixon, and he showed me a new form of painting that is shown within my artwork today. I was introduced to the thick brush strokes, the vibrant colors, the use of text, and especially the finished vs. unfinished technique.
The focus of natural African American hair began because of my personal battle with my hair. My family wanted me to keep my hair straightened because to them that represented having “good hair”; hair that would be accepted by society. Due to this upbringing, I kept my hair straight. When I went to college, and I let my hair grow natural, I would often have people of a different race wanting to touch my hair and add their comments. I decided to finally stay natural and create paintings that represented the beauty of natural African American Hair and proclaimed that it should be celebrated for its distinctiveness.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
At this point in my life, my artist studio is also my room where I sleep. When I am creating art, I am focused on what I am doing. I need the door closed, my neo soul music up loud, and I am able to work for hours. I often jot down ideas or sketch anywhere from being at a café, or at my 9 – 5 job, but I always to have to be in my studio when it comes time to create the actual piece.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I envisioned myself as only being the artist at this point in my life. I thought myself to have a promoter, as well as, assistants to build the canvases for me. I would only have to focus on making the art and speaking at the exhibition openings. That is not quite the case yet. I do everything, but that is ok, because soon I know I will have the promoters and assistants.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
I always make art at night to overnight. During the day, I have a lot of different people and things that require my attention and take away the focus from my art. At night is when I am able to be alone and get my artwork done.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
For the technique and style of my art, if has really stayed the same in the past five years. However, the subject matter has changed a bit. Natural African American hair is still my passion, but I have also included other societal issues within my portfolio. This includes the encouragement of men to stand up for their responsibilities, as well as, the growing violence in Chicago. I am in the process of creating a series entitled, “Protection or Entrapment” that focuses on the violence within a community and our ability to make the situation better.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
My family is completely supportive of my art, but their negative views towards natural African American hair have influenced me to create art that celebrates natural Black hair. I am also inspired by other artists, such as; Michael Dixon, Beverly McIver, Kehinde Wiley, Jenny Saville, Kara Walker, and Jean-Michel Basquiat when it comes to technique, style, and composition, and subject matter.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
Growing up, I was pulled towards being in the medical or scientific field. I even went to a math and science academy.
Other than painting, I am also very interested in digital art and movies. I look to combine these interests and create movie posters as a living in conjunction with being an oil painter.
Angie Redmond Artist is a figurative and portrait artist from Chicago, IL. She received her Masters of the Science degree in Digital Art from Knowledge Systems Institute in Skokie, IL and a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Studio Art (emphasizing in oil painting) from Albion College in Albion MI. Her pieces contain both oil paintings and drawings.
She uses her personal experiences to focus her artwork on various social issues within a culture. For example, the subject of natural African American hair is a reoccurring theme within her art. Having natural hair herself, she has faced a lot of ridicule and negative views towards her coils. Drawing from those experiences she creates paintings and drawings to celebrate natural hair for its unique distinctiveness and beauty. She also explore topics that affect her community; such as the violence throughout Chicago and our ability to make the situation better.
It’s the thick texture and vibrant colors of the oil paint and the love for the complexity of humanity that keeps the brush in her hand!
She uses her personal narrative to honor her race and celebrate all of the human spirit.
Angie’s artwork has been shown nationally in various museums, galleries, and universities ranging from Chicago, New York City, and Miami. She was a finalist in the first Rush Philanthropies Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. She also exhibited artwork in the 2015 Museum of Science and Industry Black Creativity and was voted winner of the Ultimate Painting Chicago Live Painting Competition.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.