Kansas City-based art icon, Harold Smith, uses his creative works to reflect upon the complexities and perceptions of Black masculinity in America. Inspired by Harold’s love of jazz, his art pieces are primarily expressionist, using vibrant colors and abstract brush strokes to create forms resembling Black men in America. “I think the media sometimes creates polarizing imagery of Black men. Either you are an Obama, or you are a thug.” Smith states. “I feel regular, hard-working, simple, black men are an ignored group. They are the new ‘invisible man.’”
His response is the creation of his most recent “Man of Color” series, an ongoing art collection that portrays close-up and dynamic views of everyday Black men in America. Harold’s works have been shown and acquired by major art institutions like the Nelson-Atkins Museum and Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.