Louisiana, USA, 1984
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Born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Jammie Holmes (American, b. 1984) is an artist exploring being Black in America by telling the story of contemporary life for many Black families in the Deep South. Through portraiture and tableaux, Holmes depicts the celebrations and struggles of everyday life. “People have looked down on Louisiana for a long time,” Holmes said. “There is still this stereotype that the people in Louisiana are uneducated, and our art is rarely taken seriously. As an example, one of our most famous artists, Clementine Hunter, is labeled as ‘folk.’ I wanted to change this perception that people have,” Holmes explains. His self-taught style is characterized by the incorporation of text, symbols, and objects into large-scale brightly colored figurative paintings.
In his mission statement, Holmes refers to himself as “merely an instrument giving voice to those who can’t speak out against the injustices happening to them [and] those who have no choice or say in the matter.” Whether exploring memories of his childhood growing up in Louisiana, depicting the cruel realities for child soldiers in his father’s native country of Sierra Leone, or channeling his emotions on the contemporary landscape of global events and societal ills, Holmes’s works touches upon difficult and relevant subject matters, converting raw catharsis and deep introspection into a passionate testament of strength.
Holmes has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Detroit, and Tel Aviv, and his work has sold for six figures on the secondary market.