Art Reflecting Life: Michael Ray Charles. (Fine Arts)

By Hamilton, Kendra | Black Issues in Higher Education, January 2, 2003 | Go to article overview

Art Reflecting Life: Michael Ray Charles. (Fine Arts)


Hamilton, Kendra, Black Issues in Higher Education


Title: Associate Professor of Art, University of Texas at Austin

Education: Masters of Fine Arts, University of Houston; B.A., Advertising Design, McNeese State University

Age: 35

"Spike denies it," says Michael Ray Charles when asked if his 1997 painting "Bamboozled" inspired Spike Lee's film of the same name, but the artist isn't sure he buys that.

Lee is, after all, a big fan of Charles' work. The filmmaker commissioned a painting from the artist for his 1997 documentary "Four Little Girls," and Charles served as a creative consultant on "Bamboozled," Lee's seating dramedy of race and the entertainment industry that opened to critical praise in 2000. And then there's the clincher: the fact that Lee just happens to own the painting in question.

"I like to think (I inspired him). After all, there was no "Bamboozled" before my work," Charles says, just a hint of a smile in his voice.

This is the life of Michael Ray Charles, associate professor of art at the University of Texas at Austin: high-profile collaborations with top Black movie directors; a celebrity clientele that includes actor David Allen Grier and director Penny Marshall; solo exhibitions in New York, Dusseldorf and Barcelona; special segments on PBS and Canadian and German television.

He's only 35, but Charles has traveled a long way from his modest beginnings in rural St. Martinville, La.

Charles is acclaimed for his biting, sometimes satiric renderings of America's racist visual history--the "golliwogs," Sambos, Mammies and "jigaboos" that populated advertising, product packaging, billboards, radio jingles and television commercials for more than a century. His work explores the link between the minstrel images of the not-too-distant past and mass-media portrayals of celebrity rappers and shoe-peddling athletes. He has been lavishly praised--and excoriated, often by other Black artists, when the scalpel he holds to the wound of America's racial psyche probes too deep.

The artist won't comment directly on the criticism that has been leveled at him over the years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Art Reflecting Life: Michael Ray Charles. (Fine Arts)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.