Painting of the Week: “Can’t Hide, Won’t Hide My Black – It Starts Here”

There is a lot of superb contemporary realism being made these days; this article by Allison Malafronte shines light on a gifted individual.

Angie Redmond, "Can’t Hide, Won’t Hide My Black – It Starts Here," contemporary realism
Angie Redmond, “Can’t Hide, Won’t Hide My Black – It Starts Here,” 2020, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in., collection of Ceata E. Lash

Angie Redmond (b. 1987) has been giving a voice to black experience and cultural individuality in America since long before Black Lives Matter rose to prominence. Her figure paintings and portraits have always celebrated beauty in all forms and championed the strength of self-identity, while calling out injustices and misconceptions with intelligence and positivity.

“I use my art as a means to promote social change, encouragement in oneself, and resilience,” Redmond says. “I use the subject of social justice to insist on change in stereotypes of cultures through the concept of emotions, particularly with the negative way the black body is often viewed and treated in society. I use the psychology of color to emphasize the complexities of human emotions and behaviors.”

Redmond is based in Chicago, and prior to living in the Windy City she earned her B.A. in studio art and oil painting from Michigan’s Albion College, an M.F.A. in painting from Northern Illinois University, and an M.S. in digital art from Knowledge Systems Institute in Illinois. Assimilating the art approaches she encountered during her education, Redmond now uses heavy textural applications of oil paint and bright color to bring to life unseen aspects of her subjects.

In “Can’t Hide, Won’t Hide My Black – It Starts Here,” for instance, the artist’s statement is clear: “This painting is about unapologetically loving yourself and where you came from and not living with the identities placed on you by others.”

Redmond often works in series to convey a cohesive message she feels strongly about, and she is currently developing a body of work titled “Who Do You See?”, which holds a mirror up to long-held societal perceptions and judgments.

“In a society often consumed with negativity based on different political views, racial identities, or financial statuses, my paintings will continue to emphasize the need for peace,” Redmond says. “My work is focused on people and the beauty in just being, released of the identities placed on them by others. It is not limited to the voice of one culture, but is speaking to all within our community, our society, our human race while we respect our differences and honor our similarities.”

Connect with Angie Redmond at

This article was originally published in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine (subscribe here).