R.I.P. Ernie Barnes
I am late posting this but I had to drop a word about this great artist who has his work embedded in the mind of many. Ernie Barnes' painting, "The Sugar Shack", has most famously been seen on the TV show "Good Times" (as the artwork of J.J. (Jimmie Walker) Evans, the eldest son on the show) and as the cover of Marvin Gaye's classic album "I Want You".
Barnes came to painting after a career in professional football, as an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. Teammates called him "Big Rembrandt."
He could take on a defensive lineman, then commit the encounter to canvas. Many people would call Barnes a "black painter." He preferred the description "neo-Mannerist."
Barnes never painted his subjects with their eyes open. "We don't see each other," he said once in an interview. "We are blind to each other's humanity."