ABOUT WAYNE ALEXANDER
Each painting is symbolic of my personal inner transformation through my journey on canvas. Born February 1952, my art like mandalas is a spiritual reflection of my Buddhist faith and life’s inter connection to all things that exist.
Some ask, “when did I know I was an artist?” I would say I am an up-and-coming generational artist. My father was a painter who painted private homes, barbershops, beauty salons, flagpoles, and bridges to put food on the table. When there was extra money, he would sometimes stretch a canvas. His father a trumpet player and was quite the entertainer. My Great Grandfather taught my father carpentry. I had pencil or crayon in hands as early as I remember. When I was in high school my buddy and myself carried our art over to Washington Square Park, New York. I sold a collage to a park goer and later that day I saw him reselling my painting.
After high school I was fortunate to attend an Ivy League Art University in Philadelphia now Philadelphia University of the Arts. Finished my BA degree in Education at University of Massachusetts in 1980. I enjoyed working and teaching young people after college, till my interest in communications took me to Manhattan to work in the Cable Television Industry. I was on a fast track to career advancement in management, then changed jobs to sell phone switches to businesses. Working in technology gave me opportunity to meet some celebrities, i.e., Nick and Valerie Simpson (Ashford and Simpson), Peter Jennings (television journalist), Sydney Poitier and the well know artist Leroy Neiman. Mr Neiman and I where able to share conversations about himself and his paintings. He was excited to know I had interest in painting and the fact my father was also an artist. I was very happy when he presented me with a signed copy of one of his works.
My love of art history and culture came to me when I was very young. I sought out a masters of fine arts. Favorite artists to read and study were Gordon Parks, Charles White, Henry O. Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett and Romare Bearden. I met Elizabeth Catlett when in college. I fondly remember her beautiful smile and warm words of encouragement at a Black Arts Conference held at Howard University.
These fine art masters have all somehow gotten into my DNA. So, when Covid-19 hit in 2020 and we were all in quarantine, I was finally ready to move my life forward. Before then I was slowly coming out of a serious depression over the sudden death of my life partner Warren Perkins.
I recalled the time I met with the minister who married Warren and I, who told me after Warren’s passing, “please continue to share that love and joy you both had in your time together on earth. Do something.”
And do something I did! I was determined to start painting again after a break from paint brushes and canvases. During the break I focused my attention on photography as during that time we were traveling to many places. We spent three weeks touring India. I cannot say how many Temples we visited but the greatest event was seeing the Taj Mahal. We also visited the great cathedrals in Barcelona and Mexico City.
I felt happy to be painting again. I began a series of 5 canvases. The first was “To the Victory Victorious.” This painting is about my diagnose of stage one prostate cancer. I was dead set on eradicating it from my body. Then I wanted to do a painting about Warren. I thought about how I was on my knees in the bank where he worked asking him “Will You Marry Me.” Each day of painting I could feel my life getting stronger. I completed the painting “Robotic Surgery” after a near death experience with pneumonia, a whiplash from a boat accident, and reconstructive shoulder surgery.
After painting #3 I added a 4th painting to the collection “Diamond In The Rough.” We are all like diamonds polishing our lives never giving into our weaknesses but only breaking though. My confidence level was going good. I wanted to dedicate a painting to my mom. She was born in May of 1927. This painting “Jubilant Happiness Five” has five numbers imbedded and all add up to 27. It also symbolizes my happiness, joy, and gratitude for being cancer free two years in a row; MRI exams show nothing there.
I am now working on a new series. This new unveiling is somewhat subdued with much more detail and greater compass. I am truly overjoyed that I have this opportunity to share with you something about me.