Having suffered from a childhood learning disability and having lost a host of family members due to cancer and diabetes, Artist Stanley Carr, is rising above his personal pain and familial tragedies by turning his experiences into beautiful works of Art for Transformation and Social Change.
"My work is reflective of the emotions, fears and faith I have witnessed firsthand
as these devastating
diseases have made a profound impact on my life."
-Stanley Carr Jr.
Born in 1973, in a small southern New Jersey town Stanley Carr Jr. is one of four siblings. Spending a great deal of
time with his maternal grandmother afforded Stanley the opportunity to learn from the many generations of his extended family. Even though Stanley and Margaret Carr Sr. spent much of their time providing for their family they urged Stanley to create using any medium that was handy. His grandmother would cut up brown paper grocery bags and encouraged Stanley to let his imagination take him beyond his immediate environment.
Creativity and art cannot be hampered by academic labels. In grammar school Stanley was diagnosed with a learning disability and was unable to attend formal art class. This did not obstruct Stanley from using his artistic gifts to decorate walls, books and to the dismay of some of his teachers the occasional desk.
In 1988, a progressive high school art teacher Francis Chauncy saw one of Stanley’s brown bag sketches and urged him to enroll in his art class once he reached high school. Stanley’s course load of extra classes prevented but did not deter Stanley from taking advantage of Mr. Chauncy’s offer. During study hall, gym, lunch and any free time he could spare Stanley would escape to the art room. Stanley was able to hone his skills by watching the other students work and listening to Mr. Chauncy’s critiques.
Holding two jobs in order to work his way through college prevented Stanley from declaring art as a major. But, his loves for the creative process lead him to study and emulated the works of Horace Pippin, Purvis Young, Minnie Evans and Norman Lewis.
Like the abstract painter of the 1960s and 70s Alma Thomas who showed artistic tendency as a child and who’s art was affected by the colors and richness of her early experiences with the rural Georgia landscape, Mr. Carr’s works reflects his early artistic beginnings and the pristine rural setting of the Jersey farm land where is grew up. The vastness of his canvases, the hues and boldness of his pigmentations all reflect the untouched rural Jersey setting of his childhood.
Stanley works in acrylic, oil, and ink. He used both brushes, and his fingers to create his most recent body of work. When asked to describe the driving forces behind his work Stanley wrote the following quote, “I allow my soul to speak the loudest through my hands. The voice that emerges from my fingertips allows me to share the passions that
compel me to emote on canvas”.