In the video below I talk about how, as an artist, I dealt with what is known as the cross-race effect when it came to my accurately representing the facial features of Dr. King in this art deco style drawing of a 1964 photo.
Charles Krauthammer wrote of the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in “The Washington Post” that the Chinese architect who sculpted it, is famous for producing statues of Chairman Mao and commented, “His flat, rigid, socialist realist King does not do justice to the supremely nuanced, creative, humane soul of its subject.” I knew it would not be enough to draw a likeness in order to honor the civil rights leader. With a drawing especially, something more can appear within hand-applied strokes of charcoal and a selective smudge of a thumbprint. I wanted to portray Dr. King’s personality, how he lived and carried himself.
I hope I have represented the spirit-man if you like, of Martin Luther King Jr. even in a simple drawing such as this. Delicate touches perhaps indicate his gentility and the bold charcoal outline could acknowledge his immovable tenacity.
In a final flourish I intertwined phrases and words used in one of Dr. King’s 1967 speeches. Words perhaps, guests to your home, when they see this art, will take a moment or two to notice and string together. I enjoy creating art that takes a while to resonate sometimes. If you too, want to see people figure out this revolutionary sentence, and choose to remember MLK and his peaceful uprising with the help of my drawing, then how about simply grabbing a t-shirt or one of the products from my Redbubble store.