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Curtis Holder (British, born 1968) Echoes Talk Back image 1
Curtis Holder (British, born 1968) Echoes Talk Back image 2
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Thumbnail of Curtis Holder (British, born 1968) Echoes Talk Back image 2
Lot 7
Curtis Holder
(British, born 1968)
Echoes Talk Back
17 – 25 November 2022, 17:00 GMT
London, New Bond Street

Sold for £5,000

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Curtis Holder (British, born 1968)

Echoes Talk Back
fibreglass, graphite, coloured pencil and varnish
140 cm (diam), base: 28 x 137 x 137 cm


Echoes Talk Back is an evolution of my current series of large multilayered coloured pencil portraits titled 'The Talk' in which I distill complex conversations with my sitters about our shared experiences as Black men in today's society. The globe features portraits of Black men from different generations. The men are in conversation with each other and themselves. Each portrait shows the passage and echoes of time with the overlay of fractured lines. The changing body language and expression of each sitter captures their response to our intimate exchange. How do we as Black men fit into this society we call home? How do we reconcile the idea of a home as a safe haven with the reality of a system that systematically fails us and our families? How do we begin healing from the trauma and chaos these febrile, wayward pencil lines represent? A starting point is the unity and connection that is possible through the dialogue we have with ourselves, each other and the wider community represented here by the infinity of the sphere.

Drawing inspiration from intimate conversations with his subjects, Curtis Holder (b. 1968) explores the complexities of human emotions and how we connect with and interpret the feelings of each other through sensitive artistic expression.

Holder's large-scale, multi-layered coloured pencil portraits are dynamically tender, revealing something of the inner life of his sitters. He aims to evoke an individual's unspoken truth, which he compels the viewer to search for, and in doing so, reflect upon their own perceptions.

Holder's portraits emerge in dynamic, complex strokes, capturing a sense of his subjects' form, movement and emotional intent. Preliminary pencil marks remain as part of his energetic process of capturing fleeting gestures and emotions with sensitivity and a raw honesty. Stronger, spontaneous lines are used to anchor the subject in a final, bold depiction.

In 2020 Holder won Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. His winner's commission, a portrait of world-renowned ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta, is now part of the permanent collection at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK.

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