Artists Usher and Grace Raymond, T.I., Shanti Das, former Atlanta Falcons player Warrick Dunn and a slew of other notables attended a recent reception for D.L. Warfield's show #MyBFisBLK (“My Boyfriend is Black”) at the Collective One Gallery.
"More than anything we are happy to be here to support family, thank you so much for your art,” said Usher, who welcomed patrons. He, T.I. and Shanti all worked with Warfield when he was resident art director at LaFace Records.
"What keeps me going back to D.L. Warfield is not just his obvious creative excellence, but also the passion he puts behind any project," Usher continued. "He’s relentless; he really cares about your product. He will always be a part of my team."
The works explore the stigma and racism that surrounded the artist's relationship with the woman who is now his wife while growing up in St. Louis in the 1980s. He's black and she's white. The exhibition will run through May 15.
"We often had to hide the fact that we shared a colorless love," Warfield said in his artist's statement. "Support of our relationship was lackluster at best, but we were able to stick it out by sticking together."
The celebrity attendees were moved by the exhibition. Usher purchased a work called “The Lovings Fish” and T.I. received a piece called “DOPE” from the artist.
Dr. Jim Chappuis, founder of the Westside Cultural Arts Center, hosted the debut. Others in attendance included Bounce TV CEO Ryan Glover, Emmy-nominated actor Sean Blakemore (“General Hospital”), prominent local restaurateur Justin Anthony, Fox 5 anchors Cynné Simpson and Tom Haynes, jewelry designer Keisha Carter Noel former New York Giants player Brandon Jacobs and former Cleveland Browns player Mohamed Massaquoi.
Warfield is a graduate of Washington University's School of Fine Arts, under scholarship for track and field as well as football, where he was team captain and first team all-conference for both sports. He became a product developer and designer for the fashion retail industry, creating logos and clothing designs for their various brands before connecting with Tommy Boy Records and becoming head designer of the label's clothing line. Later, he moved on to become resident art director at LaFace Records, which brought him to Atlanta. His creative company GOLDFINGER c.s., has worked with brands including Nike, Sprite, Heineken, Anheuser-Busch, Geffen Records, DreamWorks, SonyBMG, OutKast Inc., Universal Records, HBO, Virgin Records, The Coca-Cola Company, and Adidas.
Collective One Gallery is a fine art gallery at the Westside Cultural Arts Center. Under the guidance of owner Dr. James Chappuis and co-creative directors Anthony Liggins and Eric Mack, Collective One strives to expose and celebrate the works of talented international, national, regional and local artists.