WASHINGTON – “Crowned in Gold,” the first solo exhibit by Clinton artist Rashad Ali Muhammad, is on display through Feb. 28 at The Hive 2.0 in Washington, D.C.
Featuring 16 pieces by Muhammad, a 28-year-old self-taught artist and American University graduate, the works showcase the artist’s use of gold leaf and vibrant colors to capture the human spirit. Uplifting, nonconforming and influenced by Muhammad’s Muslim roots, the exhibit vividly captures the artist’s background in graphic design, painting, video and photography.
During a reception on opening night, Feb. 15th, Muhammad explained his technique to an enthusiastic crowd and gave praise to his high school art teacher and mentor, Frederic Roberts, “who pushed me into film, photography and painting.” Muhammad said he had no formal art training growing up, “and although I wanted to go to art school, my parents wanted me to go a liberal arts college. I am happy that I did because I got a broader perspective.”
On opening night, Muhammad’s mother, Kathi, was beaming proudly and said her son was always creative from the time he was a toddler. “He was always drawing on the walls and was creative in other ways like music and dancing,” she said. “We thought he was going to be a musician, but his art teacher in high school encouraged him to learn about film and other areas.”
Muhammad’s paintings range in size from 16x20 to 30x40, and many of the subjects have rich, golden tresses with skin tones that radiate turquoise, deep reds and other hues. Muhammad said that he wanted viewers to see past race. For many on opening night, the pieces quietly spoke subtle, but powerful messages.
Sharon Keyser, a textile artist from Upper Marlboro said, “I, too, am self-taught, with no formal education, so his work really speaks to me. If it is in your spirit to create art like this, you will be able to do it. He has so much passion for what he is doing, and it comes out in the paintings.”
Muhammad’s paintings have been featured in several group shows, including Art as Politics at Touchstone Gallery and Bring It! at the Prince George’s Delegation of the Lowe House Office Building in Annapolis.
Those interested in viewing the exhibit may attend during the gallery hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment online at ramcreates.com.