Several years ago at a street fair in Park Slope, I had the pleasure of meeting artist Sean Qualls and falling in love with his work. His use of simply stylized shapes and vibrant color has a visceral way of capturing his many themes- African American history, music history, heritage, empowerment, and youth. When I first encountered Sean's work, I was drawn to a captivating painting of a young woman singing in a sparse, red room called, "A Precious Moment." Being a singer myself, I was deeply moved, and I resolved to one day own the piece.
Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and I finally contacted Sean about purchasing the print I have long-desired to add to my art collection. However, after some back-and-forth, he persuaded me on an interesting idea. Why not blow up the print on a large canvas in a way that will really make a statement? He sent me some photos of two such pieces he had done for other clients and I knew right away he was right.
The painting has always meant so much to me and I have held it in my heart for so many years, I realized it truly deserves it's proper due. I had also inquired about a Marian Anderson drawing Sean did last year as part of a Black History Month series. In the arresting drawing, Anderson's beautifully piercing eyes jump off the simple, almost rugged, black and white background, and convey so much in what feels like a tiny moment. The drawing is almost photographic in it's fleetingness. I think this is what Sean Qualls does best: reveal the depths of his subjects, without saying too much. Thus, after much contemplation, I decided that the Marian Anderson drawing would be my Sean Qualls art purchase. That is, until I have the money and space to buy "A Precious Moment" in its larger form. Thinking about the piece arriving, I can't help but listen to Anderson sing my favorite rendition of "My Lord What a Morning." You can listen too!
If you want to learn more about Sean Qualls, and also his talented wife/writer/illustrator, Selina Alko, click here, here and here!