Through his work, Karl Wilkes challenges all of us, indirectly and directly, to examine the boundaries we have put
down in our culture, society, history and
hearts. His artistry stems from a
principled core that secures is authenticity.
Mr. Wilkes’ native intelligence, experience
and talent are clearly complemented by
his academic understanding of the
context of his discipline. His versatility
and prowess within traditional media
contribute significantly to the richness
and power of his art which investigates
individual and collective conscience.
Altogether, this work demonstrates the
artist’s understanding of its theoretical
and operational aspects in ways that render it both timely and timeless.
Mark Hudson, Associate Professor of Art, Clemson University
As an artist, I create purely to express and satisfy my aesthetic and humanistic urges. Whether that stimulation is pro or con is not important. The fact that my work elicits some type of reaction is significant. I seek to offer information and suggestion and let the viewer draw conclusion based on his.her own experience.
My work exemplifies qualities of reality, spirituality and mystical ideas. It’s content is derived from my African American heritage. I use vision, ideas and images from yesterday, today and tomorrow, in order to make the most effective aesthetic statement.
My collectors range from Prince to Muhammad Ali to Jay Leno and the late King of Pop Michael Jackson. My works have affected many people and cultures both known and unknown, and I often donate much of it to help raise money for underprivileged children and other causes (such as research for breast cancer and diabetes). I recently received my own day Karl W. Wilkes Day in Nevada Las Vegas February 10 2010 In recognition of Black History Month.
Wilkes’ repertoire includes teaching art and history to seventh and eighth graders, to college students nationwide, and to organizations throughout the Department of Defense. Wilkes also uses his acclaim in a philanthropic manner to teach Black History and its relationship to America worldwide. He donates much of his art to non-profit organizations for auctions that raise money for outreach programs. Money raised from sales and auctioning of Wilkes’ work have also been donated to help support sororities, youth groups, women’s organizations and to help fund cancer research. Wilkes uses his talent in a unique and exciting way. He takes audiences on a visual journey while at the same time combining history and his story of personal struggle and ultimate success ~ one can’t help but be inspired!
Wilkes has been recognized for his ability to capture his art in an almost photographic quality. This distinguishing characteristic of his work has helped him to win several awards nationally and internationally. These awards include recognition for his famed Carnegie Hall Exhibit entitled, “Unspoken Words Heard Visually,” the International American Art Award (Europe), and the International Arts Festival (Seoul, Korea). Wilkes is also a two-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award (Clemson, South Carolina). Most recently, Wilkes developed a Black History Month Program for Burger King Corporation.
Internationally renowned artist, Karl W. Wilkes believes that through the universal language of art and history, life’s lessons can not only be visualized, but also, better understood. Wilkes was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He gained national attention when his masterpiece, History Lesson #5 was chosen by Pepsi and Scholastic, Inc. as the focal point of a national curriculum that aims to help students explore African American experience and achievement.
International Arts Award Winner.
Author, Playwright and Filmmaker.
HBO Short Film Award Winner.
Aspire to Rise Tour – White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.