Roger Allan Cleaves

Artist

Medium

Price

$
$

Availability

Not For Sale

Dimensions

  • Portrait Study #3

    Roger Allan Cleaves

    Sold
  • Portrait Composition #4

    Roger Allan Cleaves

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  • Portrait Study #8

    Roger Allan Cleaves

    $625.00
  • Portrait Study #10

    Roger Allan Cleaves

    $625.00
  • Portrait Study #2

    Roger Allan Cleaves

    $625.00
  • Portrait Study #12

    Roger Allan Cleaves

    $625.00

About the Artist

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.

Artist Statement

The Land of the Forget Me Nots is a multiverse and playground for my creations and characters. It is a home for the forgotten members of society and a place where the forgotten can rediscover their history. My created world is a multiverse that parallels contemporary culture. This created world develops daily as a self-written fictional story. In this story I investigate social themes, fantasy, and epic adventures of modern-day America through the lens of Afrofuturism. I convey these themes by including symbolism, abstract figuration, and the distortion of subjects within the works to maximize the fantasy realm while rooting my message in the depths of personal and cultural experience.

Discovery through my eyes takes place through the application of art supplies combined with chasing the love-struck feeling of excitement I experienced when I first fell in love with art.  As a child the humor and creativity of the Sunday comics was an experience of beauty like a lightning bolt dancing across the great page of the sky. I enjoyed the episodic nature of storytelling through simple colors and panels. Pop Art has played a large role in my compositional decisions but Modernism has played a role in how I approach art theory.

Modernism has borrowed from African culture to define an art era while, for a time period, excluding African and African American ideas from the greatest art stages. As often as I can with my narrative in mind, I borrow from Modernism and art history to explore this complex relationship between the black artist and thecontemporaryart institutions.

What I hope to accomplish with these amalgamations of ideas is the creation of a story that is rich in character, visually engaging, and tightly raveled with treasures to find for those curious enough to explore.