The artist’s grandmother, Vivian Rouson—teacher, community advocate and DC resident—is the inspiration behind Clarence James’s quadtych of portraits titled “Lead me, Guide me.” These four portraits are intended to offer a moment for meditation and alignment with universal truth, allowing spirit and intuition to be our guide.
Clarence James’s artwork is an exploration of truth and self. He makes abstract, figurative works that establish a connection between conscious and subconscious factors, individuals, each other and universal consciousness.
His paintings feature bold color, urgent line and brushwork, and graphic shapes and forms. His style combines painting and drawing, abstraction and representation, a specific use of mixed media materials and an eclectic iconography of figurative elements. While contemporary in his choice of materials and subjects, he bridges a wide range of historical influences, including Neo-expressionism, Surrealism, Cubism and Street Art. He alters classical conventions of portraiture, and creates an allegorical narrative filtered through the lens of popular culture and daily experience within society.
Clarence holds a BBA from Howard University in Washington, DC (2014). He began producing artwork and submitting to shows immediately thereafter and has built a following across the country in the past seven years. Since then, he has lived, worked, exhibited in shows and fairs, painted murals, organized events and created experiences in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. He currently works out of his studio located in the historic 52 O St. Studios in DC.