Music and Social Justice: An Art Portfolio by Marilyn Nelson
East to the West, oil on canvas
Marilyn Nelson’s artistic practice is inspired by music and social justice, both significant interests for the artist herself. The artist’s paintings tend to be abstract, though in recent works, Marilyn has experimented with the addition of text.
Where is the love?, oil on canvas
I her ongoing series Subliminal Reflections, Marilyn uses a musical lens to explore concepts of not only abstract artistic vision and creation, but subjects like feminism, equality, and socio-political reforms that are close to her own heart. The resulting works sometimes take a form that references cityscapes and architecture, while at other times Marilyn’s sweeping, flowing brush work creates an airy, ethereal, and totally abstract look and feel.
I enjoy the deep, dark background colours that Marilyn uses in her works. Purple seems to be recurring motif, as do saturated tones of red and blue, interspersed with planes of dark grey or black. The use of these heavy tones lends a weight and a sense of drama to the artworks.