My work is "Southern African American Spiritual Painting"  with roots in quilt making (my grandmother, Beulah Taylor), Spiritualism (my mother and father John and Sarah Newton; My father sang in a gospel group and my mother saw ghosts) and African Shamanism (the power image).  I am able to bring those things together via my unique American experience( I'm a black preacher but nonreligious).

I am making paintings that psychologically deconstruct the Diaspora for me creating imagery that is both noble and uplifting  bringing healing to history.  I am trying to rediscover my childhood and utilize techniques that God placed inside of me at birth.

I believe that my talent is a gift from God and should be used through the power of love.  I am not denying my African roots but embracing them particularly the energy and soul force found in the Fetish.

The paint is applied with viscosity to activate the surface, enhancing emotional content. Canvas is sometimes draped expressing the struggle and tensions  of being Black in a racist society.  Spirituality under-girds meaning and deepens content through the use of vibrant color and complex light.  Patterning recalls African design and are archetypes that are devices I call African Chips.  The depict culture and are psychological signs to express personal revelations.

Many of the paintings are prophetic visions and come directly from God.  I try to paint what God has shown me.  Line has been reintroduced to my current work to better illustrate my personal vision.

I want to make art that is meaningful and empowering; that has more than surface value but intellectually recalls African approaches to image making and at the same time embrace western ideas about faith.  Each painting is a prayer, and prophecy.

Charlie Newton

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