Stanley Rayfield’s amazing draftsman work is back and wants to show us, “The Way.”
Rayfield has come a long way since his 21st birthday when he landed a painting of his father in The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. His work is now permanently housed in The Morris Museum in Augusta, Georgia as well as here in Richmond at our very own VMFA. To say his touch with graphite is extraordinary might be an understatement as Alex Nyerges director of The VMFA compared his skills to none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. (Cited from The Richmond Times Dispatch Article “Off the Charts Potential”, August 25th 2016)
BJ Kocen was also quoted in that article saying Stanley’s potential is “off the charts.” It’s been four years since his last full exhibit of new work and with “The Way” that potential has arrived. With a mixture of his highly sought after graphite work and paintings Stanley has once again leaned into his never ending faith and spirituality that has fulfilled and sustained him from coping with the death of his father to marrying the woman of his dreams that he met in his Church. Whereas his last exhibit with glave kocen “Glory to God” was loaded with overt symbolism and references to the bible, this exhibit zooms in on the human element. “The Way,” begins Rayfield in his own words, “is an inspired series that uses narrative portraiture to depict ideas and principles that assist us all in navigating life, show us we are not alone, and that we have a loving Creator who wants to teach us The Way.” Rayfield began working on this series and idea two years ago and did release 4 or 5 works that immediately were sold which again one of those works was acquired by The VMFA.
The ability Stanley has to make his work life like and powerful is even taken further with some of the largest pieces he’s ever attempted. “Kingdom Movement” which is a graphite work on a 30”x40” scale features a whopping 22 figures which took him months to finish. “This piece illustrates the influence of The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact that his faith and leadership has had among many different races & cultures” begins Stanley. “Unity is paramount in this piece and is shown in the diverse crowd of twenty two people marching together. The American Flag is pointed upwards to Heaven to signify the importance of spirituality in unifying all people. ‘Kingdom Movement’ was created that a higher power is central to moving the hearts of men.” Another theme in “The Way” is certainly the imparting of wisdom from an older generation to a younger one like in the case of “House of Manga” where an inference of family is composed. With the piece “House of Maye” we have a regal figure with his head held high possibly again looking up to the Heavens or because this figure and all the figures in this exhibit have been washed in the light, have found peace in their hearts and have truly been shown “The Way.”
This exhibit opens November 3rd and runs through November 25th. For more info please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org