The artwork of Jules Arthur is the expression of an informed and curious mind, a creative soul and a careful but sympathetic heart. The common thread within the diverse themes of his canvases is the portrayal of the human condition as experienced by individual personalities, framed by his art at the instant of poignancy. His works reveal personal moments of pride and introspection, of struggle and triumph. The result is sometimes touched by a haunting sense of despair, but far more often Jules shows us hardship yielding to internal beauty, dignity, uplift and hope. His visualizations are rendered with the deft draftsmanship of a skillful artisan and technician.
Offered as impressions of everyday life, Jules’ art also provides, an observant viewer, the opportunity to peer beneath the veil of personality and circumstance, to emotionally and viscerally connect with the world in which the subject lives and to perceive the soul of the person that abides within the surface image. The eyes of the subjects in many of his works are living entry points carrying the observer on a journey into their world, wherein both the specific and universal humanity of that individual are shown to us in surprising fashion by the artist. Viewing his gallery of art as a body of work in progress, one can see both the movement of a historical arc paying homage and tribute to those who have come before and his inquires into diverse themes of contemporaneous life.
Jules variously employs a wide range of art medium techniques, from charcoal to oil painting and enjoys the creative use of woods, metals, paper, leather and more, often in a multi-media mix presentation. An artist’s love of humankind in all its diversity (if not of every individual based on deeds and merit) is a prime motivator in his outlook and artistic sensibility. His work ranges from portraiture to historical themes and include some experimentation with abstract studies.
Born in St. Louis, MO, Jules was raised with strong values and a moral sensibility that has become a wellspring source for the insights expressed in his work. With an educational background in visual arts and his studied observations of life, he is able to combine passion and tradition into visual stories of human endeavor. He received an associate degree, with honors, in fine arts at St. Louis Community College in the spring of 1994 where he focused on sculpture, painting and drawing. Shortly after, he transferred to Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta, GA. for a semester of courses. In January of 1996, The School of Visual Arts in New York City became his next destination where he received a B.F.A. with honors in the spring of 1999. Since then, he has been the recipient of awards and has been given a commending review in the NY Times for his “deft draftsmanship.” Committed to the path of a lifelong student of life and art, he can be found frequently in continuing course studies at the renowned Art Students League in New York City. He states, “If one is to master the human form one must remain in constant pursuit of it”.
In his latest body of work, Culture and Commerce, Arthur examines and explores the narratives lost in the uneven accounting of history. Each portrait in this series is a fictitious advertisement that imagines what it might have been like had these craftsmen and women from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries been unencumbered in expressing their creativity and craft. The subjects and materials are meticulously researched and planned, and each composition includes a blend of new and antique components, tying the past to the present.
Lives and works in Manhattan, New York
2006-08 The Art Students League, New York, NY
2000 Robert Blackburn Creative Print Work, New York, NY
1996-99 B.F.A., School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1994 Atlanta Collage of Arts, Atlanta, GA
1990-92 Associates Degree Florissant Valley Community College, St Louis, Mo.
2016 Culture & Commerce Gallery Josephine, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
2015 Ascension Gallery Josephine, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
2011 Obbligato, Morton Fine Arts, Washington, DC
2016 Chévere Sirona Fine Arts, Hallandale Beach, FL
2016 Bridging The Gap Vol 1. The Bishop Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2016 The Art of Jules Arthur, Macro Ventures, Los Angeles, CA
2015 What’s Inside Of Her Never Dies, Yeelen Gallery, Miami, Florida
2014 The Only Christopher We Acknowledge is Wallace, The Bishop Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe: The Contemporary Response, Galerie Myrtis Baltimore, MD
2011 Stories That Breathe, Morton Fine Arts, Washington DC
2011 NYC NOW, Fraser Gallery, Bethesda, MD
2011 Commitment to Excellence in Art and Sports, National Arts Museum of Sports Indianapolis, IN
2005 Fire in the Belly: Free Expression and Individualism, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2002 Black Romantic, Studio Museum In Harlem, New York, NY
2001 Descent of the Abiku, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
African American Museum in Dallas, TX
Schomburg Cultural Center For Research New York, NY
Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University Private Collections
David Wertschafter – former president William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.
James Lassiter – Overbrook Entertainment – Hollywood Producer, Will Smith’s Business partner.
Sean Carter aka Jay Z – mogul
Senator Cory Booker – US Senator, New Jersey
Henry Lewis Gates – Harvard Professor, historian, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder.
Kate Hudson – actress
Kevin Spacey – Actor
S. Epatha Merkerson – Actress
Charles King – Former W.M.E. Agent to Hollywood A listers, President and founder of media holding company, Macro.
Rob Stone – Founder and Co-CEO of Cornerstone & The FADER Magazine
Rockell Metcalf – President and Chief counsel at Ameriprise Financial, Greater New York area.
Carlos Fleming – former IMG Vice President. Now W.M.E. Talent Management.
Van Jones – environmental advocate, civil rights activist, and attorney. He is a cofounder of four non-profit organizations including Rebuild the Dream, of which he is president.
Dream Hampton – Cultural critic and filmmaker
Marc Lamont Hill – Academic, journalist, author, activist and TV personality
John Coles – Film and Television director. Law and order, Sex in the City, House for Cards, Homeland.
Novella Nelson – actress
Iain Softly – Hollywood film director
Tariq Trotter – Black Thought of the band The Roots
Pras Michel – Fugees