Department of Art and Art History People

Michael Ray Charles


Studio Art: Painting + Drawing

MFA, University of Houston
BFA, McNeese State University

The paintings of acclaimed internationally known artist, Michael Ray Charles, scathingly address issues of identity that concern postmodern art and society. Charles’s paintings ridicule the "romance" of the Old South and black subservience.  By situating viewers in an historical continuum, Charles is able to emphasize the extreme nature of racist stereotypes, producing a sense of dissonance as viewers find themselves both repulsed and fascinated by the imagery.

He has had one-person exhibitions in numerous countries including United States, France, Spain, Germany and Belgium. He has served as a panelist and or juror on The National Endowment for the Arts, The Bush Artist Fellowship, St. Paul, MN, among many other creative cultural entities. He is among the first group of artists showcased in the PBS series titled "ART 21" that highlighted top artists of the 21st century and acknowledged as one of the top young African-American scholars in academia by Black Issues In Higher Education.

Today as Charles continues to paint, his work remains the subject of books, magazines, and articles. His work is well documented in art history books, amongst far ranging scholarly discipline in journals, magazines, newspapers, and documentaries. Segments on PBS, Canadian, and German television; and collaborations with distinguished director, Spike Lee have highlighted Charles’ work and ideas.

In addition to numerous distinguished public and private collections he currently exhibits at Tony Shafrazi Gallery NY, NY and Cotthem Gallery in Belgium and Spain.