Article, photos and podcast by Kenneth Sousie
“I was so many different black men myself,” says Richard Gaines.
Gaines is a retired educator who has returned to his artistic roots in order to explore black men in today’s world, specifically how they are viewed by non-black people. His sculpture, painting and mixed media work is pieced together by hand using found objects, earthy materials and even his own blood. His creations are think-pieces that he hopes will inspire open and honest conversations about racism both past and present.
Gaines’s work is currently showing at Artisan Barber on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, an independent art gallery and event venue showcasing works from artists from across the five boroughs. The community oriented space, according to Richard, has “a little bit of renaissance in itself.”
In this podcast, Gaines speaks about the Harlem he knew as a young artist in the 1980s and how it has changed.