Larry Walker, acclaimed artist, professor emeritus, and father to fellow artist Kara Walker, was born in Franklin, Georgia in 1935, and spent most of his childhood and adolescent years in New York City. He holds a bachelors in arts education and masters in drawing and painting both from Wayne State University in Detroit and recently exhibited a two-part retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia (MOCA GA) in 2018, featuring his work in two installations; “The Early Years” (works from 1961-2005) and “The Later Years” (works from 2006-2017).
With an expansive body of artwork from the past six decades, Walker explores existential truths as they would be found on the walls and doors of urban environments, indicative of his Harlem upbringing. Walker describes the conversation his work sparks as “pseudo-reality, socio-cultural, and humanistic”. While a portion of his works are rendered with charcoal on paper, Walker’s mixed media collages provide additional context to his dialogue, featuring magazine and newspaper clippings, partial promotional posters for movies and events, and other symbolic elements such as chains and shackles, earphones, and microphones. His references to pop culture and current events maintain an authentic relevance within his work. Walker envisions urban surfaces as an interaction that occurs within a shared, common experience. The variety of realities and narratives found upon the metropolitan message boards of cities around the world serve as a representation of human life, not just within our local communities, but around the world.