Meet the Artist
My work abstracts two narratives of the figures I paint and my own experiences. My paintings depict a personal story of Life’s reality that explores the psychological state of living as a Black male in the United States, always in survival mode in a culture meant to create division and separation. I re-create my personal experiences through conversations between my subjects by using familiar images, poses, objects, environments, and emotions. Perception is everything, so I make it my mission to tell a correct view of the figures in my artwork from my lenses as I have experiences judgments from an incorrect perspective. When faced with Life’s challenges and confronting pain, it drives out the imperfection we face; Life’s challenges and pain bring society’s ills to light, such as oppression, health disparities, societal problems, unemployment, and other issues. I paint a moment of my subjects going through these transitions and finding similar experiences that I relate to because it is not my subject’s fault that Life challenges; it is the inadequate structures of systems built into institutions meant to oppress.
I identify with the characters in my classmates, as their experiences and goals reflect a normal state of mind. I am interested in my subjects’ subjectivity and think about creating a composition that captures their experience from their perspective. I also obscure perspective to show how the policies and rules of institutions stop agency. Part of the process is contacting my high school classmates and discussing how our experiences are similar. Next, I go into my city Pine Bluff, AR community, where I grew up to take pictures of my classmates to create a similar environment and experience based on our conversation. I aim to show the sitter looking off in a daze and train of thought because Blacks are responsible for how the world perceives us and are forced to take ownership over problems that the system creates. By working so closely with my subjects, I redefine a new perspective for Blacks and the viewer to develop new authorship of existentialism due to the world’s narratives of Black individuals being told in a negative light without all the facts. Hence, I paint to provide more information from two points of view.
Markeith Woods is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and is a 2014 graduate from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He is a national artist who has exhibited at various locations including, Agora Gallery in NYC, a solo show at Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council, a solo show at Batesville Arts Councils winner of the Arkansas Arts Council SWOP, recipient of the Artist 360 grant and artist in residency at Chautauqua School of Art Residency Program to name a few. He furthered his educational career by becoming a full-time elementary Art Teacher, where he finished his fifth year of teaching in the Fort Smith School District and now he is a full-time high school Art Teacher and adjunct professor. Woods is committed to motivating the world through the Arts by inspiring, educating, and teaching hope to embrace purpose.