For over twenty years, Tarleton Blackwell has created lively, antic scenes of Southern rural life, featuring livestock, human portraits, and familiar icons from both high and popular culture. Blackwell’s oil and mixed media paintings reveal and intertwine a variety of inspirations, including Southern imagery, the Baroque art of the Spanish master Diego Velazquez, and symbols of American power, justice, and money. These elements—highly personal and emblematic—provide the allusive, layered, and subtle content that is characteristic of the artist’s work.
Born and raised in Manning, South Carolina, Blackwell received his bachelor’s degree in art education from Benedict College, followed later by advanced degrees from the University of South Carolina. Blackwell began the Hog Series in 1983 as a graduate art student. He was inspired by memories of growing up in the midlands of South Carolina, where his father, a Baptist minister, owned a pig farm. Although Blackwell has developed other thematic series in the course of his work, the Hog Series is his chef d’oeuvre, the project with which he began his serious art over two decades ago, and which he continues to this day.
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© 2008 Robert M. Hicklin, Jr. Inc.
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