Sugar Shack-Unsigned - Ernie Barnes was born July 15, 1938. Endowed with an innate sensitivity, he knew early in life that he wanted to become an artist. Initial impressions were fashioned in the rich soil of Durham, North Carolina, while his sensibilities were cultivated in a loving home by his parents, Ernest Sr. and Fannie (Geer) Barnes. As a child, he often accompanied his mother to the home of the prominent attorney, Frank Fuller, Jr., where she worked as a domestic. Through his expansive library, Fuller introduced Barnes to the works of the great master artists such as Rembrandt, Raphael and Michelangelo. Amidst the harshness of life in the segregated south in the1940's, artistic ambitions would prove to be an impossibility. His father echoed the sentiments of many in ridiculing and forbidding young Ernest's desire to be an artist. His peers also asserted their disdain by beating him on a daily basis. The isolation and despair of this shy, fat, un-athletic boy plagued him until he reached junior high... MORE Sugar Shack-Unsigned
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Sugar Shack-Unsigned by Ernie Barnes
Yes as of 7/14/2020
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image 24 x 34 paper 27 x 37
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Sugar Shack-Unsigned by Ernie Barnes Image is watermarked for copyright protection and is not present on the actual art work.

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Barnes created the painting The Sugar Shack in the early 1970s. It gained international exposure when it was used on the Good Times television series and on the 1976 Marvin Gaye album I Want You. According to Barnes, he created the original version of The Sugar Shack after reflecting upon his childhood, during which he was not "able to go to a dance."In a 2008 interview, Barnes said, "The Sugar Shack is a recall of a childhood experience. It was the first time my innocence met with the sins of dance. The painting transmits rhythm so the experience is re-created in the person viewing it. To show that African-Americans utilize rhythm as a way of resolving physical tension." The Sugar Shack has been known to art critics for embodying the style of art composition known as "Black Romantic," which, according to Natalie Hopkinson of The Washington Post, is the "visual-art equivalent of the Chitlin' circuit." When Barnes first created The Sugar Shack, he included his hometown radio station WSRC on a banner. (He incorrectly listed the frequency as 620, though it was actually 1410. Barnes confused what he used to hear WSRC's on-air personality Norfley Whitted saying "620 on your dial" when Whitted was at his former station WDNC in the early 1950s.) After Marvin Gaye asked him for permission to use the painting as an album cover, Barnes then augmented the painting by adding references that allude to Gaye's album, including banners hanging from the ceiling to promote the album's singles. During the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever anniversary television special on March 25, 1983, tribute was paid to The Sugar Shack with a dance interpretation of the painting. It was also during this telecast that Michael Jackson introduced his famous "moonwalk" dance. The original piece is currently owned by Jim and Jeannine Epstein, and is on display at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

Sugar Shack-Unsigned, by Ernie Barnes Open Edition Ernie Barnes

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