George Gittoes: White Light

‘Over the last 18 months I have been painting and filming in Southside Chicago in the neighbourhood of Englewood which the locals call Chi-Raq. The works have been influenced by the vibrancy of street art where spray cans are used with brushes and paint. In order to introduce the central characters of our film I decided to paint their portraits and have them pop up on the screen at the beginning of each of their stories. Each time I completed one of these portraits the sitter would immediately photograph it and share it on Facebook. Having the images on their phone to show their friends and families became an item of great pride. Young African Americans in depressed and segregated neighbourhoods, like Englewood, have little reason for high self-esteem.’

George Gittoes, Words, oil-based spray paint on canvas, 152 x 122.5cm. Finalist in the Dobell Drawing Prize 2019. Courtesy the artist and Fellia Melas Gallery, Sydney

Fellia Melas Gallery
4 to 22 June 2019
Sydney