Rik Freeman not only paints scenes from his imagination and memory, he recreates them to take on a whole new reality.
With strong narrative elements in his work, you can almost imagine yourself hearing the sounds, smelling the scent in the air and feeling the electric energy of the scenes the artist develops.
The Chittlin Circuit Review, currently on display at the Charleston City Gallery at Waterfront Park, features 25 works reflecting on African American culture in the Deep South. The artist drew upon inspiration from his childhood, family, people he knew and the blues.
Freeman gives us part of the story and lets the viewer take the pieces and develop their own interpretation. The story is important in his work, sometimes imaginary but based on historic and personal references. The principal character Mud Paw Willie tells the story of the Chittlin Circuit, he is the artist’s developed composite of the quintessential blues man. Characters reappear throughout the paintings, representing a fusion of people the artist knew growing up.
Born in Athens, Georgia, Rik Freeman started his career as a muralist in Washington, D.C. in 1989, where he painted numerous murals throughout the metropolitan area. He is also known for his work on canvases and has exhibited in numerous group shows. Rik attended The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia and Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia, where he majored in painting.
The Charleston City Gallery at Waterfront Park is located at 34 Prioleau Street in Charleston and is open Tuesday - Friday 10am - 6pm, Saturday 12pm-5pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm. The Chittlin Circuit Review: Works by Rik Freeman is on view through February 28, 2010.