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Chevere: Jules Arthur

What is chevere?

Chevere is an expression used to convey what is desirable, hip, in vogue, accomplished and highly thought of.  It's origins derive from an Afro-Latin root.   In popular culture it's use first arrived on the scene through early recordings of Mambo/rumba songs played on radio stations. Starting in Cuba and finding its way through out the caribbean.  And like most great colloquials it spread like wild fire through out the world.   My works correspond to the Chevere show in a handful of ways.  The subjects and imagery within my works depict humans in all of their glory.  The pieces showcase their confidence, culture, artistry and contributions.  Attributes that function in society that give definition to what is cool, attractive and valued.  

If you listen to music while you paint does it effect your work and how?

Playing music while I paint and create has a profound effect on my process.  As matter of fact the two can not exist without the other.  The mood and energy is all thrown off when music is not present during my working hours.  A big hole or vacancy occurs when music is not feeding my soul as I paint.  Music allows me to remove myself from myself then allows me to tap into the most creative sides of my artistic abilities.  Music drowns out other impending thoughts and allows a purer stream of conscience to create with.

Is there a color you dislike so much you won't use it?

No, there is no color that I dislike from the color spectrum.  Quite the contrary.  I believe as a painter it is important to embrace all the colors in order to capture nature in its true form.  Their is a rainbow of colors while observing the human form so I dare not negate one of them.  If there is a paint that I try to use less of it is black and white.  They tend to suck the life and chroma out of a painting if used too generously.  If the over use of black and white are used for an attended effect then I support that kind of use.  

How many times have you ventured outside of your comfort zone?

Ahhh, this question is so important.  All growth springs from our ability to hurdle our comfort zone.  Our comfort zone can be so warm, inviting and familiar.  But it becomes a double edged sword as it can be the death of our forward mobility.  I am one who can bask in that comfort but loath myself for being complacent about it.  So I am constantly putting a fiery flame under my foot to break out of that comfort zone and be more brazen and fearless.  Without a doubt when I am fearless the greatest growth happens.  A tug of war tends to ensue between fearfulness and fearlessness.  My aspirations are banking on fearlessness.  

What is the strangest thing that you ever made art on/with?  

Deer skin or the hide of a deer.  I was working on a portrait of one of the most significant frontiersmen (James P. Beckwourth) and sought to incorporate materials associated with his occupation.  Beckwourth was an American mountain man, fur trader, and explorer in the early 19th century.  

What do you think of when you can’t fall asleep?

It usually encompasses my mind trying to line up all of my ducks in a row.  My thoughts race through all the things I have not done and or need to accomplish.  This can become painfully long and annoying.  (tossing and turning)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Jules Arthur was raised with strong values and a moral sensibility that has become a wellspring source for the insights expressed in his work. With an educational background in visual arts and his studied observations of life, he is able to combine passion and tradition into visual stories of human endeavor. He received an associate degree, with honors, in fine arts at St. Louis Community College in the spring of 1994 where he focused on sculpture, painting and drawing. Shortly after, he transferred to Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta, Georgia for a semester of courses. In January of 1996, The School of Visual Arts in New York City became his next destination where he received a B.F.A. with honors in the spring of 1999. Since then, he has been the recipient of awards and has been given a commending review in the NY Times for his “deft draftsmanship.” Committed to the path of a lifelong student of life and art, he can be found frequently in continuing course studies at the renowned Art Students League in New York City. He states, “If one is to master the human form one must remain in constant pursuit of it”.