A World Apart

Roger Allan Cleaves (b. Memphis, Tennessee) received his Bachelors of Fine Art at the University of Memphis. During his tenure at the University of Memphis he was one of fifteen undergraduate students selected from across the country to participate in the Yale Norfolk Summer program for the arts. Cleaves went on to study at the University of Wisconsin- Madison where he received his MFA.

Cleaves latest works feature a self-written fictional story titled The Land of the Forget Me Nots. The story investigates social themes, fantasy, and epic adventures through the lens of Afrofuturism. Symbolism, abstract figuration, and distortion are a few of the tools he uses in his creative process. Often times Cleaves uses motifs from Modernism that have been borrowed from African cultures to explore the complex relationship between black artist and the contemporary art institution. The different bodies of work are generally moments from the storyline that concentrate on the characters interactions inside the created world. The created world - Forget Me Nots Land- is a multiverse and an amalgamation of sociological ideas fused with contemporary storytelling. 

Cleaves lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.