WATCH: Chaz Guest paints pictures that reflect the African American experience
The talented artist has sold his paintings to Oprah Winfrey and Misty Copeland.
Chaz Guest is an incredible artist whose work has been celebrated for its inventiveness, social relevance and powerful reflection of the African American experience.
His father fought in World Ward II and was a decorated hero who enlightened Guest about the world at an early age.
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Chaz Guest suffered from a severe speech impediment as a child and couldn’t get words out, so he turned to coloring as a way to express himself.
Even as a youngster, Chaz Guest was aware of racial disparities and took notice how different life was for his white friends than it was for his black peers.
“When you see the whole chess board, you get to play a damn good chess game,” Chaz Guest says. “If you can only see the black side or the white side, then you’re going to have some issues, bit I see the whole board and they cannot pull the wool over these eyes.”
Chaz Guest taught himself how to paint after visiting museums and discovering artists like Picasso, whom he calls “a freak of a magician.”
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Now, he is known for creating stirring pieces that make a statement. “My thing is to paint my vision,” he says. “I let nature and humanity teach me how to paint and that’s why it resonates with people.”
One person who was captivated by Guest’s work is ballerina Misty Copeland, for whom he painted an amazing portrait.
“Capturing her magnificent body and face was one thing but really to embody her discipline was my goal in this painting.”
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Guest has also sold work to celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, and even caught the attention of President Barack Obama. Now, the White House is the home of his prized painting of Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, and he recently revealed how the piece came to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
“[Thurgood Marshall] has always been a champion in my life and I just started painting him for no reason. Ironically, Barack Obama had been to the house and said he really loved the painting. I had no idea it would wind up in the White House.”
Check out the video from Guest’s appearance on “We Have a Dream” below: