Beal is a native of Detroit in 1962. He knew as a child that he wanted to be an artist. He is essentially a self-taught artist who, although he lacks formal training has had some art training.
Wanting to see other places in the world, Beal joined the United States Marines and traveled to Europe, South America and the Far East. Some of the cultures he experienced is reflected in his art and is particularly synthesized in the central figure in most of his work - that of the “Universal Woman”, as he calls her.
Among his artistic influences Beal lists Romare Bearden, Paul Goodnight and William Tolliver, as well as African art. The artist has won several awards and commissions and participated in gallery exhibitions across the country. He currently lives in the Houston area.
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Born and raised in West Virginia, John Holyfield was orphaned and raised by his grandmothers. Early in childhood, his interest in art was evident.Encouraged by teachers, family, and friends, he studied art throughout school and went on to
Howard University and the University of D.C. to major in Graphic Design. John’s interest, however, switched from the graphic arts to the fine arts and printmaking. In 1991 he submitted photos of black and white drawings that he kept in his sketch book to an art publisher to see if his work was marketable. Two weeks later John signed a publishing deal with that company and has’t looked back since.
Holyfield’s work has a strong southern feel and captures the essence of African American life. He paints with the maturity of a much older artist, particularly because he uses imagery from an era past to convey his timeless message. The themes that dominate his work are themes of family, religion and culture. He draws on his own family, childhood memories and stories told to him by his grandmothers for inspiration and his grandmothers have shaped his positive view, and the recurring theme in his work, of women.
Among his major stylistic influences are the artists Ernie Barnes, John Rockwell and Frederic Leighton.
Music Video: At Last sung by Abstract Artist, Yvette Loveless...
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