A focused figurative artist, Crixtover Edwin paints magical portraits. They bridge the fantasy reality gap. For instance, Edwin delights with a delicate touch and bright details. The work shares creative visions of black women and men. These portraits feel natural thanks to their earthy beauty. But Crixtover elevates them to icons. They do this with afrocentric elements.
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The work also highlights familiar themes. This grounds the work because it taps into our collective understanding. For instance, upon the recent death of the lionized Kobe Bryant, Edwin portrayed him with a wreath of thorns. It’s a simple, poignant way to make a point. In fact, American painter Crixtover Edwin’s paintings are powerful thanks to this exact technique. They shine just enough symbolic light to awaken our senses.
Crixtover Edwin’s Eve
This inventive symbolism shines through Eve: The Original Woman. For Christians, she’s core womanhood and sometimes even for the rest of us too. As Crixtover points out in the title, part of this core is that she was simply first. But there’s more to Crixtover Edwin’s Eve than her inaugural feminine status. She’s innocent, honest, and exhausted. Of course, she is. It’s taxing to bear such weight as the flagship female. As the video below explains, Eve‘s halo signifies more than virtue. Its golden ring carries a burden too.
InterGalactic & Afrocentric
We’re all familiar with astronaut gear, especially the distinctive spherical helmet. It plays a primary role in Crixtover Edwin’s painting Intergalactic. The painter also uses bright neon lines to evoke circuits and wires. This gives the work an interstellar scientific quality. Then Edwin grounds the painting with words. They’re bold reminders of this woman’s worldly identities. Wakanda graces the top of her helmet – a sign from yet another world. While the word Negro’s branded on her uniform’s chest.
These bold words place the astronaut portrait in two worlds at once. She’s earth bound by her pejorative brand. But Hollywood iconic at the same time. Edwin also makes her familiar with shimmering gold hoops and stunning mauve eyeshadow. This is a woman you know and love. Trademark Crixtover Edwin white face dots remind the viewer she’s innocent. It’s her first mission, after all. It’s clear from her expression, though that she’s ready. Unafraid and a beacon of strength, this lady knows where she’s going. She’s a true trailblazer.
Crixtover Edwin’s Mona Lisa
I discovered Crixtover Edwin on Instagram. The painting above, intrigued me most of all. Edwin’s description explained that they’d always wanted to portray a black Mona Lisa. It’s what I was thinking exactly when I first spotted this lady. From the simple afro to her sly expression – she’s a perfect afrocentric representation for that famous portrait.
Anyone who’s seen the original Mona Lisa in person will tell you she’s a surprise. Not because she’s a stunner. Quite the opposite. The portrait in person’s a shocker because it’s flat out no biggie. Turns out the Mona Lisa‘s nothing special. It’s a small portrait. Much smaller than you imagine. She’s just an ordinary woman with an intriguing smile. It’s that simple.
This everywoman beauty makes the Mona Lisa distinctive among masterpieces. It’s why there’s relentless talk of her smile. After all, there must be a reason she’s so damn famous. But truth is, all women are gorgeous. Crixtover Edwin’s Mona Lisa reminds us of this profound truth. She’s got a ubiquitous afro. This parallels the Mona Lisa‘s boring brunette middle-part to perfection.
Both woman are looking at us and also away at the same time. This gives the portrait that notorious air of mystery. She’s half smiling, half watching the viewer, and otherwise nondescript. The things that set this lady apart are her mysteries. Thing is, we can’t know much about any woman we see in a painting. We only think we can. And that’s only based on what the painter chooses to tell us. Painters actually are a type of storyteller. They embed symbols and use techniques to share a story in paint.
This one’s a remarkable memory from deep within our brain’s recesses. It’s a crucial reminder. Oh yeah, all women are beautiful. That’s because to be a woman is to be beautiful. It’s part of what makes us women. Crixtover Edwin engages us in archetypal stories like this one with their paintings. The painter draws on rich symbolism and afrocentric ideals.