Barbershop Wisdom

Medium: Oil on canvas
Size:  30″ x 40″

This painting is part of my Family Traditions series capturing the typical happenings within the African American culture. It is well known that in the barbershop, one can hear stories of life and history often taken with a grain of salt. On the light side of this is the fact that many of these stories have been a bit exaggerated and are often very funny and entertaining. The barbershop was a place where the men could speak freely of their opinions and beliefs and gather for friendship, a good game of checkers or chess or dominoes while waiting their turn.
The two central figures are surrounded in the background by symbols of the tools such as a variety of combs used by the ancestors in hair care. The hair of descendants from Africa has always been full bodied enough to shape, fade, carve, braid, lock, wave and create all sorts of looks. Some looks were created to tell of status in a society or availability to marriage or even that the person has already married. Hair has always been an important expressive part of Black society and still is to this day. Nappy, kinky, tight, curly….it’s all good hair because you can do far more great things with it!