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Studio Visits: Charles Dickson

Studio Visits: Charles Dickson

I had the extreme pleasure of visiting the studio of the great Charles Dickson in Compton, CA. Not only was I blown away by the hospitality, but I was also enthralled and floored by the amount of work and the different medium in which he chose to present each subject. I was more than inspired to leave here and can’t wait to go back. – BM

Charles Dickson is a Los Angeles-based artist who uses a variety of media to create three-dimensional artwork and sculpture. Dickson incorporates both his life experiences and urban environment to create pieces that speak to a diverse audience as well as express different perspectives of the African American experience. Dickson is essentially a biomorphic sculptor, and thus he is more of a surrealist than a constructivist. He seems much influenced by the doctrine of “being true to the material;” that is, always trying to reveal the full potential of the material he is using in his sculptural forms. It is this goal that led Dickson to make holes through the Ancestral Tree and to explore the effect of placing one form within another. Dickson also has a keen sense of sculptural metaphor. In Ancestral Tree, his metamorphic forms reveal marvelous and unsuspected likenesses between disparate things, but the juxtaposition has the result of revealing a truth, which, once recognized, seems inevitable. Even though the effect may lose its initial surprise, it does not lose its mystery. It seems right, natural, and reasonable, neither outlandish nor questionable.

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