In a similar way Willie Birch has helped introduce the world to the style and culture of the inner city streets. Birch transformed its often anonymous messages into a visual language of individual commentary and expression acceptable to the art gallery world.
Nationally known artist Willie Birch is a busy guy. He’s helping to put the finishing touches on the catalog for his retrospective exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center in January.
Provocative. Witty. Humorous. Pungent. What more can one say about the art of Willie Birch at the other Arthur Roger Gallery in the New Renaissance Hotel at the comer of Tchoupitoulas and Julia Streets?
Figurative art, a style that goes all the way back to the old cave days, seems to be making a comeback. Over the ages, the figure has symbolized everything from ancient Greek gods to R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural and the archetypal Americans now seen in Tom Tomorrow’s cartoons.
The journey began when a precocious child talent was recognized by “my junior high teacher, Mrs. Maxine Daniels, who took her father’s insurance money and created an art school for talented kids at the YMCA.
Willie Birch is a native son of the Crescent City whose firebrand political art has made him a player on the national and even international art scenes. Over the past two years, though, his work has changed so much that you could easily miss the political messages.