Family comedy and Netflix series “#BlackAF” is a millennial and hyperbolic take on the classic American sitcoms we’ve seen so much of in the past few years. Recently, it has been renewed for its second season. Producer and writer Kenya Barris used the hashtag “BlackAF” as an oxymoron to constitute both black authenticity and realness. While observing the hilarious eccentricity of the characters, it is crucial to recognize all of the factors that contribute to making “#BlackAF” truly “black” – this includes the incredibly unique artwork of Patrick Eugene that decorates many scenes in the show.
The work of Atlanta-based artist and painter, Patrick Eugene, is highly featured in the background of the comedy, capturing much of what it means to be “Black and Proud.” His expressionistic pieces detail the reality of the black community, which includes gentrification, racism, and glimpses of natural moments that glorify black men, women, and children. His art transforms each space, adding a quaint and delicate tone to the frames of the show. Eugene’s old-fashioned style juxtaposes the modern lines and aesthetic of the comedy, where the flashy “black bourgeoisie” is paired with simplistic moments of lower-class black experiences. Kenya Barris welcomed glimpses of his collection of paintings around his home, aim to celebrate all forms of blackness, in its most original state. One of Eugene’s works presented is an acrylic painting “Child of Cite Soleil,” which refers to his travels through the impoverished commune located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, focusing on the innocence and joy present in the children who are dealing with such harsh conditions. The sitcom, along with Eugene’s pieces, showcases a multitude of black realities in one unique space. The use of bold and bright colors in his work alone is full of emotion, and its presence in “#BlackAF” allows the viewers to dive deeper into “the often condensed layers of the issues facing his generation today.” It also coincides with the meaning behind today’s #Blacklivesmatter protests and what it means to be Black.
To view more of Patrick Eugene’s work, click here.
Featured Image and video courtesy of Patrick Eugene