Prolific Los Angeles Artist Mark Steven Greenfield Inspired by the Afro-Brazilian culture

Mark Steven Greenfield, one of Los Angeles’ most prolific African American artists, has a retrospective exhibition at the California African American Museum (CAAM) titled “Lookin’ Back in Front of Me: Selected Works of Mark Greenfield, 1974 – 2014.” The exhibition is ongoing at CAAM now through April 5, 2015.



The Egungun that Saved Florida, 2013. Ink on Duralar, Acrylic; courtesy of the artist Mark Steven Greenfield and the Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York


A Los Angeles native and former director of the Watts Towers Art Center, Greenfield was mentored and influenced by artists John T. Riddle Jr., William Pajaud and Charles White. However, it was in 2013, during his fellowship at Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil, that the Afro-Brazilian culture captured his attention and influenced his work.  Moved by the late Afro-Brazilian artist Mestre Didi (Deoscoredes Maximiliano dos Santos, December 2, 1917 - October 6, 2013) he created his series Egunguns.


Title: Hey, Hey, It’s Ya Birthday (2014); Ink on Duralar, Acrylic; Courtesy of the artist Mark Steven Greenfield and the Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York




Lookin’ Back in Front of Me includes more than 100 pieces, and displays a body of work that Greenfield himself has described as unapologetically didactic as it is based on his research of literature, cinema, history, and the visual arts. The artist’s interests range from early investigations of the Science of Creative Intelligence (Cosmos series)--a meditative practice that stirred large abstract interpretations of the astrophysical--to figurative work inspired by Sun Ra and Parliament Funkadelic (Afrofuturistic works).  Greenfield has also delved into the artistic renaissance of L.A.’s Crenshaw community (Crenshaw’s Consciousness series), gang culture, genealogy (Iconography and Sunday’s Best pieces), and more recently, African-American stereotypes (Blackatcha, Doo Dahz, and Animalicious), and the re-contextualization of American appropriations of African spiritual practices (Egunguns). 


CAAM exhibitions are free and open to the public.  For more information visit







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