Do you remember this graphic artist from the '90s?
March 16, 2012 9:09 AM   Subscribe

Please help me remember the name of the graphic artist, popular in the early '90s who did stylised (mostly African-American) figures garbed in primary colours, often combined with inspirational words; the most popular line was available in posters, t-shirts, and even bookmarks.

I believe the artist was male and the last name started with "B". Definitely not Charles Bibbs. I don't believe the faces were defined in most of the pieces in the popular line I'm remembering.
posted by batmonkey to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Response by poster: Definitely not Basquiat. Definitely, definitely. The figures were far more prosaic in nature than any of Basquiat's work. Far more on the popular-poster-art side than the troubled-genius side of things, art-wise.
posted by batmonkey at 9:17 AM on March 16, 2012

Keith Haring?
posted by raccoon409 at 9:23 AM on March 16, 2012

Response by poster: Also definitely not Haring. New work was being produced after 1990. The figures were mostly shades of brown to black wearing representations of loose garb in primary and jewel-tone colours, sometimes in groups, sometimes singly.
posted by batmonkey at 9:26 AM on March 16, 2012

Synthia Saint James?
posted by Mothra Pisces at 9:30 AM on March 16, 2012

Bernard Stanley Hoyes?

Frank Frazier? (This link is to a website called "Black Art in America" so maybe it has some other leads.)
posted by small_ruminant at 9:33 AM on March 16, 2012

I bet this is it: Varnette Honeywood.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:36 AM on March 16, 2012

Response by poster: Not Varnette Honeywood - images were far more simple and mostly on white backgrounds. The figures are closer to Bernard Stanley Hoyes's and Synthia Saint James's work, but more...individual. Very close, though.

I believe the artist went by a single name, now that I think about it. Very few letters - 4-6? I thought it was Bibbs for the longest, but now know otherwise.
posted by batmonkey at 9:42 AM on March 16, 2012

I'm not aware of any t-shirts, but could you mean Jacob Lawrence?
posted by jamjam at 9:53 AM on March 16, 2012

The short name + 90's makes me think of Kiki, but I think she's way too busy to be what you're asking. Definitely on shirts and bookmarks though.
posted by artychoke at 10:14 AM on March 16, 2012

I was totally certain you were thinking of Synthia Saint James until I read the other comments. I don't think you are looking for Ellis Wilson or Romare Bearden but I will give you those names anyway.
posted by mumblingmynah at 10:52 AM on March 16, 2012

Carl Smool?
posted by bobo123 at 11:41 AM on March 16, 2012

Justin Bua.
posted by reverend cuttle at 1:05 PM on March 16, 2012

Response by poster: Sorry for the long gap - life interceded.

Unfortunately, none of the artists previously unaddressed are the one sought.

While I'm fairly certain this is going to be a mystery forevermore, I had the chance to look through a bunch of great and interesting art in the process, so thank you all for that.
posted by batmonkey at 11:59 AM on March 21, 2012

Hmm... Could it have been Robert Blackburn?
posted by colorproof at 11:20 PM on May 30, 2012

Response by poster: Definitely not Robert Blackburn.
posted by batmonkey at 1:52 PM on August 24, 2012

Jean-Paul Goude?
posted by JamesAtMidnight at 3:43 PM on September 30, 2012

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