I tend to think having that extreme of color, that kind of black, is amazingly beautiful... and powerful. What I was thinking to do with my image was to reclaim the image of blackness as an emblem of power.

Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall b. 1955

Kerry James Marshall was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama and later moved to the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California near the Black Panthers’ headquarters. Marshall's extensive body of work is highly influenced by his feelings of social responsibility and the experiences he’s had as a young man growing up around the Black Power and Civil Rights movements. The artist is best known for his large scale paintings that highlight African-American life and history. A decorated artist and professor, Marshall is a MacArthur Fellow, a Fifth Star Award recipient for his contributions to the city of Chicago, where he now calls home, and has been named to the Committee on the Arts and Humanities by President Obama. His works can be found in numerous private collections as well as in public institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, Harvard Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.