The Atlanta based artist’s body of work encompasses the Black experience in America
Radcliffe Bailey, the artist known for his contributions to Black art has died.
Bailey’s art depicted the Black experience through paintings, sculpture and mixed-media pieces.
The artist often incorporated repurposed objects in his creations such the wooden piano keys used “Windward Coast–West Coast Slave Trade.” The display features a sequined head sitting atop a “sea” of wooden piano keys and was featured in the Art In Common gallery in Chicago. The gallery label describes the meaning of the piano keys.
“This piece expresses his love of music, as well as the history, culture and spirituality contained in the song. Here, the undulating keys are arranged to resemble the turbulent waters of Middle Passage.”
“I used indigo, and there’s that heavy, loaded meaning behind indigo, used as a crop during slavery, and also references the blues. It’s a mixture of all that. And the piece is in a cabinet, it’s not a frame; I refer to these works as medicine cabinets. The idea was that whenever you get sick, you go to the medicine cabinet to get something to make you feel better. I refer to memory as medicine.”
Bailey was born on Nov. 25, 1968 in Bridgeton, New Jersey and was raised in Atlanta. He received his BFA from Atlanta College of Art in 1991.
Fans and friends took to social media to pay tribute to the renowned artist, including former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Bailey’s childhood friend.
“Radcliff Bailey was one of the 1st boys I knew who wore a pink Polo. Even in 7th grade he was cool & cutting edge. From @MBStadium, @HighMuseumofArt, airport & beyond he reminds us of our past & gives hope for the future. We tip our hats & may the ancestors meet you w/open arms”pic.twitter.com/cbPR5yvpv4
Bailey is survived by his wife Leslie Parks Bailey, daughter Olivia, son Coles, his father and mother Radcliffe Sr. and Brenda along with a host of family and friends.
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Source: Black Enterprise