Black Royalties #3, Acrylic, aerosol, oil stick & Gel medium on reinforced vinyl canvas. 30 x 48 inches. 2022

This week we welcome Reginald Rousseau,  a Haiti-born and Harlem-raised contemporary folkloric artist,  best known for his “Tropical Aesthetics” series, which encompasses paintings, mixed-media assemblages and digital illustrations. Rousseau studied studio arts — figurative drawings & paintings, photography, and printing — at the City College of New York while pursuing a degree in architecture. His practice is the product of decades of experimenting with mixed mediums and pushing boundaries.

For Colored Women, Acrylic, aerosol, oil stick, fabric & gel medium on canvas. 48 x 48 inches. 2022

Rousseau describes his work as a layering of Haitian naive art, African textile, stained glass and  abstraction. In his journey as an artist he has been influenced by the work of Aaron Douglas, Faith Ringgold, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Kerry James Marshall, Nick Cave and Romero Britto, to name a few. 

Monumental Brotha, Acrylic, aerosol, oil stick & Gel medium on reinforced vinyl canvas. 30 x 48 inches. 2023

Since 2010 Rousseau has built a sustainable art career around creating personal and commissioned artwork, exhibiting, participating in residencies and collaborating on a wide range of projects and events. In addition, he founded and operates his own art studio and exhibition space, curating exhibitions, selling, licensing and renting artwork.

Man of God #1, Acrylic, aerosol, oil stick & Gel medium on reinforced vinyl canvas. 30 x 48 inches. 2022

“I am an art lover and an art maker, making art to connect with the viewing audience emotionally on a personal level through vibrant, energetic and tropical aesthetic images,” Rousseau says. “The focal point of my work is to articulate, frame and illuminate the richness and complexity of Black identity, life, culture and spirituality from a unique point of view encompassing my African roots, Haitian heritage and my life experiences growing in Harlem, New York.”

See more of Rousseau’s work on his website and Instagram page.

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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