Jason A. Watkins

The New Black Experience

 The New Black Experience is a digital exhibition of paintings by Tennessee-based artist Jason A. Watkins which brings together five of the self-taught painter’s tenderly rendered portraits of Black youth.

Comprising five portraits—four individual and one dual—The New Black Experience continues Watkins’ practice of painting charismatic, finely textured depictions of Black life, and which often features children and teenagers from his tight-knit Tennessee community. The works were created during Watkins’ ongoing undergraduate studies at Middle Tennessee State University, and build upon a solo show he presented there, titled The Black Experience.

Jason Alexander Watkins (b. 2001) is a Nashville-born contemporary artist based in Tennessee. His style of black and white portraits with colorful backgrounds places a heightened emphasis on each figure’s unique details, with an emphasis on hair texture and the soulfulness of the eyes. By working from reference photographs, Watkins is able to capture an uncanny resemblance of the subject using acrylic. Born prematurely with a permanent hearing loss, he uses art as a way to escape from things he cannot hear and says that, in doing so, mirrors the spirit of the Black community. Watkins is a candidate for a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, with a minor in Art, from Middle Tennessee State University.

 

Jason A. Watkins

Kailey, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 24 inches

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Jason A. Watkins

Remington, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 24 inches

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Jason A. Watkins

A.J., 2021

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 24 inches

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Jason A. Watkins

If My Soul Could Speak, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 24 inches

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Jason A. Watkins

Zylen and Bryn, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

24 x 30 inches

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