The ONE and ONLY, Mr. Ernie Barnes!
Ernie Barnes (b1938 – d2009) was one of the most popular artists in the world. His depiction of the African-American experience is unique and his vivid imagination is reflected in his artwork.
Ernie was born in 1938 and began painting while playing college football at North Carolina College. He went on to play for five years in the NFL, then decided to call it quits and paint full-time. Many people recognize his painting called “Sugar Shack” from the classic TV sitcom Good Times.
Most of Ernie Barnes’ artwork reflect his view of African-American lifestyles but he also shows us his continued love for sports. He also has a commitment towards racial and ethnic harmony and many of his paintings reflect it. With all things considered it’s easy to see why Ernie is one of the most collected artists in the world.
(Barnes’ Biography was taken from itsablackthang.com)
Where do I even begin? He created so many classics! I think these speak for themselves. There’s no way I could even begin to choose a favorite. Am I the only one that didn’t know he played professional football?
Was fortunate to strike up an acquaintance with Ernie in the mid-60s. I was officiating high football at the time and saw a photo of Ernies art in SPORT magazine, which depicted an AFL official. Ernie was kind enough to sell me (at a reasonable price) a charcoal sketch from which he made an oil painting. I still have and consider it–and another Ernie Barnes charcoal–among my most prized possessions. Ernie and I remain in touch with each other until his untimely death. We’ve lost a very talented artist much to soon. RIP, my friend.