Today we’d like to introduce you to EuGene V Byrd III.
EuGene V, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’ve been an artist all my life encouraged by my mother, Ella Mae Byrd who was an artist herself. A self-made interior designer, and all-around Renaissance woman. I always knew that I wanted to pursue art as a career but coming from a working-class family I just never saw anyone really pursue art successfully. So, I decided to get my BFA in Graphic Design from SCAD. So, I could get a job. During my 15-year design career I still painted, drew and occasionally participated in gallery shows but it was only part time. After getting deep into the design world I began to miss just talking art and being around other artistic minds. And that is when I decided to start Future Dead Artist (FDA).
FDA originally started just as a group of friends just getting together to talk art and support each other in continuing our individual crafts. But after witnessing the untimely passing of my sister and then of my mother, reality hit that life is truly short. This was my turning point to quit Graphic Design and pursue my art career full time.
The first person I reached out to was my friend and SCAD alum Omega Ruth Jr. We hadn’t seen each other in a few years but when we reconnected and started talking about art again we picked up right where we left off. We started working together and creating and eventually we recruited some other friends. Collectively we were all creating more frequently than we were on our own individually which naturally transitioned to us curating our own art shows. After building a solid reputation for curating meaningful art exhibitions I was eventually blessed with a gallery space of my own, FUTURE GALLERY.
For me the art is about more than just the paintings on the wall. With FUTURE GALLERY I can do whatever I want. There are no limitations or restrictions on what I can do or feature during the exhibits. My ideas are limitless. We’re open to negotiation or payment plans, we don’t believe in traditional taboos, we want people to collect original art! When you come to the exhibits you aren’t just coming to view art, you’re coming for an intimate experience. Our mission is social change through art.
Currently FDA consists of myself, all-around creator, Eugene V Byrd III; photographer Omega Ruth Jr; videographer Jahaan London and gallery manager Cleigaie Narcisse.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m an artist that draws inspiration from life experiences and people around me. Influenced by the mannerism art movement, combined with bold colors, patterns, typography, printmaking, graphite, paint, collage, among other mediums. I enjoy exploring and pushing the boundaries to maintain fluidity within my style.
The use of printmaking has furthered my mission to provide original affordable art to first time art collectors. I aim to create something new, yet familiar, that generates curiosity for viewers of all demographics. When I paint I have fun, I love to use non-traditional materials, recently I used Listerine and shaving cream to manipulate the paint.
A few years ago, I stepped back and really looked at my body of work and I realized that I wasn’t telling my own story. I was addressing civil rights issue and things that were very important to me, but it wasn’t MY story. I realized that I was being guarded within my art. I wasn’t letting anyone in. For the last couple of years my work has organically become more personal. Some paintings are like dairy entries, while others I’m directly speaking to someone or the viewer. Sometimes I may not have the courage or unable to find correct words to speak out loud, but I can put it in my art. I talk though my paintings.
I’m no longer interested in just creating single pieces of art, only complete bodies of work. I want my art to provoke emotion. I want the viewer to sit within my art; I want it to stick with you. I want you to walk away changed somehow. Art has power.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
It’s tough being an artist, it’s not for the weak. You have to have an attitude about yourself. Being an artist, is usually saying “No” to something or someone. “No, I don’t want to do that, I’m going to do this”. To be an artist is to be a rebel. Sometimes I think I’m half-way crazy. I have a family to support, I made way more money as an graphic designer. But I believe in art. It is possible. I have to prove it to myself and others every day.
Artists need cities and companies to get behind the arts. Artist work best when projects are funded ahead of time. It allows us to create our best work without the stress of the necessary sale. But at the same time, I think us as artist have to get more creative in how we get paid. We don’t have to depend on galleries solely. We can license our art, create products and merchandise. We have to get creative and 100% control our creations and visions. All I know is I’ll never stop, I’m never letting up. We all can make it. We can all use a break, including me. It would help if a few doors were opened for me and my team. But if not, we’ll kick it in. We’re here and we aren’t going anywhere. So, get to know us.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can visit my art studio and art gallery, FUTURE GALLERY anytime. I hold monthly art exhibits and I’m always working. Follow my IG page for show info. The upcoming art exhibit is DEAD RINGER 07/14/18, 7-11pm, a group art exhibit featuring over 40 painters and photographers. This exhibit is a must attend event.
People can support Future Dead Artists by attending and making purchases during exhibits, purchases on the website (www.futuredeadartists.com) or by making donations. And yes, I could use some support 🙂 I’m doing this for the community, this isn’t my gallery, it’s OUR gallery. #supportlivingartists
1692 Thorne Ave SW, Atlanta GA
- Website: www.futuredeadartists.com
- Phone: 423.781.1281
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: futuredeadartists
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/futuredeadartists/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/futuregallery_
- Other: www.byrdeyeview.com
Louis Perry, Omega Ruth Jr