The Artists | Visual Signatures

VISUAL SIGNATURES is a mini-documentary that promotes the works of professional visual artists from diverse backgrounds. They tell their stories, discuss what they do, why they do it, and in most cases, show how they create their works. Initially created as a 90-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) for phati’tude Literary TV Show, VISUAL SIGNATURES was developed to showcase the visual artists who participated in the program. Our goal is to cultivate the public’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of visual artists.

“Embarking upon this selection process, I found myself learning histories that were hidden from my view, and an arts community I was totally unaware of.”
–Lorraine Miller Nuzzo, Art Director & Curator (See Curator’s Statement)

Charles Lilly

CHARLES LILLY WAS COMMISSIONED BY the Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center in 1994 to paint a portrait of Langston Hughes to commemorate the Library’s 25th Anniversary. His portrait was prominently displayed on phati’tude Literary TV Show (formerly phatLiterature) for its 2004 season premiere, “Langston Hughes: Celebrating a Literary Legacy” featuring Tony Medina and Sydnee Stewart. >>READ MORE

Roberta Berman

ROBERTA BERMAN’S UPBRINGING IN NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND around the corner from the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, certainly created an indelible impression that led to her body of work “Sound Sculptures.” Berman provides viewers an in-depth look at how she turns wood, “an inanimate object” into “interactive pieces” that ultimately become a synthesis of figurative sculptures and musical instruments. >>READ MORE

Otto Neals

OTTO NEALS IS A PAINTER AND A SCULPTOR in the tradition of contemporary African American artists. He works diligently to portray the beauty and power of African ancestry, which is a central issue expressed in his art. Having mastered numerous techniques in painting and printmaking, Neals has become best known for his sculpting. Here, Neals shares his love for sculpting as well as his personal commitment to collecting the works of important African American artists. >>READ MORE

Abdul Badi

ABDUL BADI IS ON A MISSION: to capture African and African American culture on canvas. Over the years, Badi has covered the gamut, from native and aboriginal peoples, as well as commissioned works. Right now, he is concentrating on documenting the metamorphosis of the African diaspora on two continents. Badi speaks frankly about his urgency of creating these new works and what he hopes to achieve in the long run. >>READ MORE

Anders Knutsson

BORN AND RAISED IN MALMÖ, SWEDEN, ANDERS KNUTSSON uses the consciously unglamorous tree as one of his primary topics. Why? Because he believes that trees are symbols of strength, endurance and longevity, which represent metaphors of life that carry universal and external symbolism. Knutsson is perhaps best known for his use of phosphorescent pigments that make his paintings glow in the dark (“luminous paintings”), and after years of experimentation, he has become an expert in its application. In his interview, Knutsson shares with viewers his passion for trees and the development of his “luminous paintings.” >>READ MORE

Nikita Hunter

NIKITA HUNTER’S PAINTINGS raise relevant questions that provoke historic as well as contemporary concerns about culture, race, identity and gender. Her works are clearly dynamic and dramatic, yet also passionate in a way that is intimate and private. Known worldwide for her Hottentot Venus (Saartje Baartman) series, Hunter excels in her ability to tell an entire story through the image of one person. When she discusses the creation of the Hottentot Venus series, in doing so, Hunter expresses a deep love for her subject and the general human condition at large. >>READ MORE

Louis Gasparro

FORMER GRAFFITI ARTIST LOUIE GASPARRO delights at creating densely packed abstracts that have an urban twist. He uses an assortment of media – acrylics, oils, ink, house and spray paint – to create funky stylized works that are heavily influenced by graffiti art of the 1970s. Gasparro talks candidly artistbios how graffiti discovered him, and his transformation from graffitist to abstract artist. >>READ MORE

Michael Singletary

MICHAEL SINGLETARY loves to tell stories artistbios people – who they are, what they do and, in some cases, why and how they do it. Besides doing extensive studies in sports and jazz; Singletary has crossed boundaries by portraying such unlikely topics of food. Food you ask? How artistbios “Chocolate Hip Hop”? Singletary explains this and more, including his passion for painting and his love for pursing whimsical subjects and turning them into dramatic works of art. >>READ MORE

Lorraine Miller

LORRAINE MILLER is a one-of-a-kind artist who has endlessly dabbled in a number of art forms: writing, music, modeling, acting, photography and fashion illustration. All the while, she has steadfastly worked on her oil paintings, creating realistic and abstract works. Miller talks about her artistic journey, as well as provides insight on her role as Curator and Art Director of phati’tude Literary TV Show, and the importance of supporting community artists. >>READ MORE

Takeshi Yamada

HOW DOES A SAMURAI WARRIOR BORN IN OSAKA, JAPAN satisfy his fetish artistbios American culture? If you are Takeshi Yamada, you simply travel throughout the U.S., live in major cities to study the culture and then capture its spirit in photo-realistic paintings. But Yamada doesn’t stop there: his passion extends to a number of curious topics, such as “all things Coney Island” and creating interactive sculptures, often with a sense of humor. Yamada shares his journey from Japan to America, and his passion for documenting American culture, which has become an integral part of his works. >>READ MORE

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