A Self-Taught Artist Hangs a Solo Show to Inspire Everyone

A Self-Taught Artist Hangs a Solo Show to Inspire Everyone

'Lady in Waiting' and a detail of 'Blue Abstract'

WHAT IF ANYONE could be an artist? Or, to put it another way, what if the tools of creativity — regardless of the medium, be it dance, writing, music or visual art — were accessible to all of us, and more often than not, simply lay dormant due to circumstance, socio-economic challenges, and self-doubt?

These are not the questions Houston artist NEGRASSO is dealing with in his solo exhibit Macrocosm, which goes up Feb. 3 at Art Is Bond Gallery, but they come to mind after one learns a bit more about his biography.

Born in 1952, raised in the Third Ward, and now settled in the Heights, NEGRASSO was compelled to acknowledge and honor his creative calling relatively late in life after a health scare in 2001. The details about this awakening are few in the show’s press release, and there’s no information about the man’s provocative all-caps moniker. What we do have is his transcendent, highly tactile art, including paintings that date back to 2016, and recent explorations in pure abstraction evoking the totality of existence as seen through the eyes of our elders. Charming, figurative works like “Jazz Man” and “Lady in Waiting” are more straightforward, even as NEGRASSO’s brush strokes seem to vibrate like air molecules stimulated by breath through the bell of a saxophone. In fact, the viewer might consider looking at NEGRASSO’s paintings the same way one listens to and experiences music.

Macrocosm is evidence that in each life there is always time for a creative renaissance, so long as one is willing to pick up the proverbial brush.

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