Five Projects That Changed GA Gardner's Art Career
For over 30 years GA Gardner has been creating art professionally and exhibiting in galleries and museums around the world. Here are 5 signature works created by GA Gardner that were monumental to his development as an artist.
Elements of Hope Obama poster project
1. Obama Poster: Elements of Hope
This project was initially created as a fundraiser for the former US president Barack Obama in 2008. When the project was launched as a poster it quickly became popular. For Gardner it was a departure from his normal abstract works but an opportunity to build on his interest in surreal collage art. This project is important for him as an artist as it represented a turning point in his art work from abstract to surreal and established his path as a mixed media collage artist.
One of the early Sky and Water abstract painting by GA Gardner
2. Element Series
Prior to 2008, Gardner experimented with abstract paintings. Sky and Water began a series of abstract paintings on wood panel that was called the Elements. These works expressed Gardner's love the beautiful colors found in the Caribbean nature. Living in Washington DC during that period these colors reminded Gardner of the beautiful environment of his native Trinidad and Tobago. In a year Gardner had created over 100 Elements before ending the project.
Mural at Eatonville Restaurant in Washington DC.
3. Zora Neale Hurston Textstraction
In 2009 Gardner was asked to created a mural for an upcoming eatery in Washington DC that was centered on the life of poet and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. Gardner was excited by the opportunity to create this large mural project. In conducting research on the poet icon he took a trip to Harlem where the poet made her mark during the Harlem Renaissance. His research paid off. After a series of studies for the project he came up with a technique he called Textstraction which simply meant using texts as the main element to create abstract art. The project energized to the eatery as it was not only admired for its rich aesthetic but for the information delivered through the words that were often taken from the poet herself. Since that project, Gardner has created many other Textstraction projects including Duke Ellington Textstraction and Ray Charles Textstraction.
Early PPS piece by GA Gardner.
4. PPS Series
Gardner was always searching for new ways to tell his story and improve the aesthetic of his art. Around 2010 he began looking at magazine images. He was always fascinated by how well they are photographed, the colors, and typography. He was not as impressed with the content as he felt that Black people were not equally represented in a positive way. As a result he began to take from these very attractive pages and strip them and reassemble them to tell his own story. The PPS series was born. PPS as he called them stood for Photograph Paper Strips.
CD cover from Rakim: The 18th Letter.
5. Rakim: The18th Letter
This project created for Universal Record was one of Gardner's most iconic commercial art project most would no know about. In 1997 Gardner was asked by Danny Simmons create the art for a CD cover of a rap artiste called Rakim for the album "The 18th Letter". Being a fan of the artiste a young Gardner jumped at the opportunity. At the time Gardner was a professor of computer animation at William Paterson University so it was a great fit to use a 3D computer art model on the project. The project was well received and Gardner continued exhibiting his new three-dimensional computer graphic models at galleries and museums. These large format printed artworks discussed the theme of cultural celebration. These artworks solidified GA Gardner as one of the pioneers of computer fine art exhibitions.