White soul paintings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca Read Davenport (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Walter Barker

Abstract: I call my paintings pictures of "white soul." I do this in order to draw upon the associations familiar in the term "black soul:" a sense of pride in self and race, qualities of vigor and endurance, the rich, ironic mixtures of the sensual and spiritual in human experience, the timid or vigorous assertion of self which is mixed with its incomplete defeat. "Jellyroll" Morton said you should never forget the weeping along with all the joy in his music. Nor should the viewers of my portraits. I know the poor white rural people of northern Virginia and I see in their faces and surroundings the features of the human condition as I also have experienced it with its ambiguous mix of good and evil, its fair possibilities and wrinkled limitations, its humble or extravagant hopes and capacity to endure beyond vanities. I try to portray my subjects' ugliness and their beauty, their honesty and their self-deceptions through my knowledge of them and through an exploration of myself. I think that I relate to my subjects as that more impersonal portrayer of humanity did when he said of his heroine: "Madame Bovary, c'est moi."

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1973

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