The first pieces of real art I ever purchased are by WAK or Kevin A. Williams. I’ve always been interested in art and sketched a lot as a child. I remember joining an art club so that I could take weekly trips to the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan to sketch. I’d spend hours sketching bears, birds, and the famous Blue Whale. During our lunch breaks, your Auntie Tracey and I would often take walks to downtown Brooklyn. One day we stumbled upon a little art kiosk. Many people in Brooklyn sold art catering to African-Americans so I was not expecting to find anything very different. Keep in mind that this was around 1996 so WAK’s pieces were not as famous then. Then I saw it. The piece is called Behold.
I cannot even begin to explain how taken I was by this image. It resonated to my very core. It was strength, beauty, womanhood, sensuality, and pride in Blackness all in one. I needed to have it. I could not afford it. At all. It was a signed and numbered limited edition. Then they guy said, “Well we do offer lay away!” and that was all I needed to hear.
I went back week after week making small payments. It seemed like an eternity before I would be able to take it home. Then one day I went to make a payment and the little art kiosk was unusually busy. As I waited I looked through their new catalog. And there it was. Behold II.
Now I could not have an incomplete set now could I? By this time the man operating the kiosk new I was there to make my payment. He pulled out his book and with my head held down I had to admit that I needed to add something else to my bill. Now please understand, I was not ashamed of wanting these pieces. Oh no! I was upset because I was on a very strict budget! I was trying to get back to school. I needed money to pay off a default student loan as well as new tuition costs. The more unnecessary expenses I made, the longer it would take for me to get back to school. But I needed these pieces. I really NEEDED them. They spoke to me. So I put my goals on hold so that I could own two pieces of authentic and limited edition art.
I have not bought much art since then but the itch has come back with a vengeance. There are several artists I’m watching at the moment and just waiting for an opportunity to buy. Later this week, I’ll tell you about one of them.
Will you love art as much as I do? Time will tell.