Lot 074 Ravenel Spring Auction 2022
Child Soldier Series - 5 Cents a Day
Jammie HOLMES (American, 1984)
Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas
121.5 x 60.5 cm
Holmes' work is characterized by the moments he captures where family, ritual and tradition are celebrated. Holmes' grandmother was an usher at his community church in Thibodaux, having been involved with the congregation from a young age. Sunday was always chaotic, and as a boy, he had conflicted feelings around religion that only grew as he did. Says Holmes, "Religion now means something different. We were living in a reckless environment, so church felt like a safe haven and a place to listen to life lessons.
Across America, loss of the young in particular is too often the result of gun violence that stems from deep and long standing social and racial inequity, where people of color in poor communities are forced to struggle to survive. Jamie Holmes initiated the "They Are Killing Me" public project in response to the news that George Floyd was murdered. This artwork is reminiscent of earlier works by Holmes that paralleled kids growing up in rough neighborhoods to child soldiers in Sierra Leone. The grey concrete grounds the work and represents a hardened past. The vague and unrealistic appearance represents that this is the common experience of all blacks.
Our reverend lived in the hood and talked about real things happening." Floral wallpaper is sometimes incorporated into Homes' paintings as in All on a Sunday - often depicted just behind a male figure - meant to symbolize the need black men feel to present themselves as unthreatening in order to stay alive.
His artworks also reflect the pressure on children growing up in disenfranchised neighborhoods to 'be strong'; take care of themselves and their families from a young age; and to normalize exposure to threats of crime, violence, or abuse. "So many American kids are growing up in disenfranchised neighborhoods. We forget that rough cities are filled with kids who grew up too fast." － JAMMIE HOLMES
One of his public artwork, "Universal Language" has been created in 2020. Says Holmes: "This mural is about the universal language spoken by children through play; kids who may not speak the same language still know how to have fun with each other. Kids grow up too fast now because of the responsibilities we put on them. Laughter and play will always sound and look the same no matter where it happens. In the mural, there is a kid doing a backflip on an old mattress outside, left for trash. Kids will always find creative ways to stay young － it's up to us not to take that away from them."
"I think there's something very powerful about the way that (Holmes) presents black masculinity; a way that people aren't used to seeing. It's a very complex portrayal." － Vivian Crockett, the Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. His artwork have been selected by the Dallas Museum of Art. His exhibitions include: "Jammie Holmes: Everything Hurts." (Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX, USA, 2020), "Anatomy: Jammie Holmes" (Library Street Collective, Detroit, 2020), "Pieces of a Man" (2021) and "To Be Determined" (2020), etc.
Select: Modern & Contemporary Art
Ravenel Spring Auction 2022
Saturday, June 4, 2022, 4:00pm