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Focus On: Jammie Holmes

Miami— June 1, 2021— It has been a stellar year for Dallas-based artist Jammie Holmes’ (American, b. 1984) career and market. Holmes’s “They’re Going to Kill Me,” May 30th, 2020 – an aerial demonstration where Holmes commissioned planes to fly over major U.S. cities with banners emblazoned with George Floyd’s last words- garnered national attention. Last fall, the Dallas Museum of Art commissioned a pair of new paintings from Holmes and acquired one of them for its permanent collection. Most recently “Untitled (Aunt)” (2020) by Holmes set a new artist record, selling for 131,250 British Pounds ($180,375), at Christie’s in London, well over twice the high estimate (35,000-55,000 British Pounds). Holmes’ rising profile has quickly translated into a strong secondary market, becoming highly sought after in a market showing overdue attention to Black artists.

Born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Jammie Holmes 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.
He has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Detroit, and Tel Aviv, and his work has sold for six figures on the secondary market. To learn more about Holmes and inquire about available works, click here.

Photo: Portrait of Jammie Holmes by Emery Davis. Courtesy of Library Street Collective.