23 // Black Future Month // Craig Sanders, Visual Artist — Not Entirely Hate Filled

Posted on February 23, 2012

A few months back, I wrote about a Pennsylvania raised naysayer living in BK who couldn’t catch light spilling into his eyes, thus was his blinding hatred for all things and music Bay Area. This dude, remember?

Okay. Maybe I put twos on tens. Doing too much. Craig Sanders is a hater. Let us be clear. But he’s also ridiculously smart, and gave way on the Oakland music given some good, thoughtful, prodding. He’s a captivating artist in his own right and today, February 23rd, is his birthday. So, after one slightly off key, arhythmic serenade in the manner of Stevie Wonder for Dr. King… take a look at the work he makes:

1) For good measure and obvious reasons.

2) Because graphic design is not dead.

3) Because when I met Craig he told me he finger painted, and I ain’t believe him, and later he dabbled this out, fingerprinting on his iPad. And if the future is about black female form, appreciated and digitized, I’m bout it.

4) Because something is to be said for process.

5) Because I have a soft spot for black men, surrounded by their own art, who still feel the need to mug to the camera.

6) Because I want to demonstrate some parallels.

And if I must compare Craig to something/someone other than a summer’s day? S’gotta be Allan Freelon. Philly representer, like your boy Craig. Philadelphia Museum School of International Art class of 1916. Known best for his impressionist work. Hated on by the Harlem Renaissance types for not being militant enough. Staunch in his stance that he was artist first, and against strict designations of what art “should” be/do as a Negro practitioner.

I draw some lines between his work and Sanders’ because of use of color, of sketch, of simple form, and because he, too, seems to keep his grill real hard in every photo I can find.

I’ma say this once, and one time only. Props to Philly. And surrounding suburbs. And its art. And to Craig. And to haterism. And futurism. And lineage. And fingerpainting. And sketching. And to turning unreasonably old and still attacking the canvas with vigor and zeal.

oh, and you should probably follow Sanders’ tumblr at lasttrainleaving.tumblr.com.


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