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

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

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

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

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

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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