Steve R. Allen’s ‘Fractal Vision’ to explore genealogy, architecture at ArtsXchange
Renowned Olympic Games artist to host first Atlanta exhibit in a decade
EAST POINT, Ga. — With a portfolio spanning Rio to Beijing to the Smithsonian, Steve R. Allen is bringing his artwork to the Jack Sinclair Gallery for his first Atlanta exhibit in a decade.
Ancestral Origins: The Fractal Vision of Steve R. Allen, will open with a reception and a few words from the artist from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Sinclair Gallery at ArtsXchange, 2148 Newnan St., East Point.
Immaculate patterns, electrifying colors, Adinkra symbols, and regal Black figures cover the massive works. They converge at the point of an intense and wandering imagination, and a recalling of Indigenous African fractal art techniques that live in many customs, from hair braiding to kente cloth to building styles.
“I use a lot of geometric shapes and patterns, incorporating that with human figures at times,” Allen said. “I am inspired and create from that link of creativity, culture, and spirituality. My work celebrates Black women, African people, cosmology, and earth energies.”
Fractal patterns are formed by repeated subdivisions using a mathematical process. The scale of the patterns decreases with every repetition.
Allen will explore his artwork and the historical basis of fractal Afrofuturism during a gallery talk from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 23. Joining him will be Oscar Harris, an abstract expressionist artist who was the leading architect in Atlanta and the Southeast region for more than 40 years; and scholar Kimbeni Mansion, whose research centers ethnomathematics and its effects on Black students’ cultural and historical literacies.
Allen, a native North Carolinian, is excited to return to the place he has called home for many years. He first came to Atlanta as a 19-year-old the the 1970s, then again in 1992, just a few years before he quit his job — led by his personal challenge that he could create the type of art he saw on a visit to the National Black Arts Festival — and became the official artist for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. He has since been the artist for seven other Olympic Games.
“The ArtsXchange is a special place and Atlanta has been a special place to me,” he said. “It’s like no other. There’s something about the history of Atlanta and the spirit of the people.”
The exhibit and gallery talks are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.