Gee Horton’s “Coming of Age” series is a visual and thematic exploration of the complexities of African American Adolescence. Through the iconography of Contemporary culture, and Hip-hop music, he dignifies and celebrate the Black experience while addressing the vulnerability of youth in Black on Both Sides and Me Against the World. His subjects, his teenage nephew and niece, are at an age that reflects the most formative years of one’s life. He depicts the influences, cultural expectations, and dualities of what it means to be Young and Black in America. The portraits serve as a channel for Horton to reflect on his youth, becoming a modality to heal personal trauma.
The Sweetest Thing, a drawing of his niece, “tenders childhood innocence for a little girl who is simply drawn to beauty. Here, it is the beauty of sunflowers; The way they open to the sun, the way they follow the sun. Her hair is an extension of her entire being and a beautiful reflection from within, a beauty so bold that it touches everything. But innocence leaves her unaware of the power, instead her hair and the flower turn into magic, offering her joy and a sense of wonder,” says Horton. “It is a reminder that every flower deserves the right to fully blossom.”
A self-taught artist residing in Cincinnati, Horton’s leverages his Master of Social Work from University of Louisville, combined with lived experiences to explore the human form’s beautiful yet complex psychosocial development stages through his hyper realist drawings.