After reading his story of how he got where he is today, I was hooked, without even viewing his pieces of art. After studying at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and creating artwork influenced by African use of color, patterns, sculpture and dance, his daughter passed away. His loss inspired him to visit Africa and study in Ghana, Nigeria and Morocco. Searles' journey influenced his African inspired artwork to take a new direction of abstraction while maintaining his patterning and anthropomorphic dancing forms.
The piece above is an excellent example of a sculpture by Searles that shows a biomorphic form of a dancer to an African masquerade while it reminds me of forms seen as a substructure on a African mask that danced for a specific meaning.
This painting is also a good representation of Charles Searles. It incorporates his passion for bright colors, for dance and movement, elaborate patterns and African figures.
Charles Searles takes a view of 'traditional' African art and puts a modern, contemporary spin in it. By using the same traditional concepts of bright colors, masquerades, movement, patterns, and sculpture, he adds the updated element of abstraction. You can find more information and artwork by Charles Searles here: http://www.grnnamdi.com/dynamic/artwork_display.asp?ArtworkID=1022 and http://africanamericanmuseumexhibitions.com/web/exhibitions/about/searles/