(American, b. 1960)
Acrylic on canvas
Unframed: 139.7 x 243.8 cm (55 x 96 in.)
Gift of the Artist, Michelangelo Lovelace, Sr. 2015.83
The title of this work, My Home Town, is exactly that: a loving, idiosyncratic portrait of the artist’s hometown. Lovelace has dedicated the majority of his career to depicting and analyzing Cleveland’s urban landscape; many of the city’s iconic destinations are visible in the background. His paintings can be read as vibrant and candid commentaries on the city’s sociopolitical and cultural heritage and its current state. Lovelace’s panoramic scene combines many different local neighborhoods together, represented as storefronts. A large crowd of people gathers, yet seem to be divided by a street separating the masses into two groups: “East Side” and “West Side.” These sides appear to be segregated, one predominantly white and one predominantly black. Lovelace left the center of the canvas spare, aside from a few interracial social interactions. My Home Town broaches the issue of the segregation of the African American community that is mainly concentrated on the east side of the city and in the near eastern suburbs. Despite its critical tone, the painting also offers an optimistic perspective through the figures that come together and inter-mingle in the center of the picture.
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