Charles’ art is like an architectural depiction of truth for me. With such evocative work, White is one of my favorite visual artists.
"Paint is the only weapon that I have … to fight what I resent. If I could write, I would write about it. If I could talk, I would talk about it. Since I paint,
I must paint about it.”
- Charles Wilbert White
Charles Wilbert White became an artist of his people and also their advocate. But, in doing so, he became an advocate of the universality of humanity. He always insisted upon expressing the dignity of the individual and respect for human beings - not some caricature imposed by hostile forces. As a spiritual product, perhaps unconsciously, of two races and two environments, he would reflect upon the fact that his grandfather was a slave in Mississippi and that his mother had lived most of her life in the South where little had changed from her father’s era.
To look upon his drawings, paintings and prints is to be gripped by his search for essential truths in the daily life and beauty of his subjects. A comforting insight into the meaning of existence, man’s aspirations and sorrows, his inner spirit — but above all — his dignity form the core of Charles White’s love affair with life. And that is the tribute he paid to the men, women and children whom he depicted in his works.