Present Tense

The Art of Memphis, 2001-Now

Edwin McSwine
Identity Unknown
mixed media on board, 24x24"

Artist Edwin McSwine

Courtesy of the artist, Edwin McSwine

Motivated to paint largely by the power and passion displayed by African Americans throughout history, McSwine's work has been commissioned by the National Civil Rights Museum and Oprah Winfrey. He often draws upon personal and family experiences for inspiration, as well as vintage photographs found at thrift stores and yard sales. McSwine is a Memphis native who attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, and was an early member of the NIA Artists Collective. He has also produced public art works, for the UrbanArt Commission as a part of that group, and as a solo artist with his gospel music inspired mural in the South Main Arts District. Identity Unknown portrays an anonymous figure with a steely gaze, ideas forming behind the eyes. A result of one McSwine's scouting of old photographs, this person's name is lost to history, but the force of character remains undiminished by the ages.

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