Painter + Spoken Word
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Artist Onicas Gaddis calls his painting “Spiritual Expressionism”, which describes his work in general terms, but merely touches at describing the depth and breadth of where his paintings come from.
Onicas has been painting for over twenty years, having the privilege to study under master abstract expressionist painter Sarah Carlisle Towery (who in turn traveled and painted with renowned artists such as Josef Albers, Viktor Lowenfeld, and Hans Hofmann). He discovered his talents at drawing after an artist visited one of many group homes he had lived in as a child. He knew he had found a purpose for living here in a world that was most often not a very kind nor happy place for him. Art literally saved his life.
From his early work drawing portraits (pencil and charcoal), he moved to painting. While living in Florida, he was inspired to tap into his Florida Highwayman heritage (his uncle was one of the original traveling landscape artists of the 1950’s). But it was the time spent at the Alabama Art Colony studying with Carlisle Towery, Moe Brooker, and other accomplished painters that truly taught Onicas how to put the paint to the canvas, give up on any idea of a finished piece, and simply allow the spirit of the painting to flow through him.
Gaddis works on canvas, paper, and wood, using primarily acrylics. His brilliantly-colored abstracts are characterized by somewhat haunting images of faces and figures, restless, gestural lines and layers plus semi-hidden landscapes, perhaps a synthesis of his explorations with portraiture, landscape, and abstract studies. When looking at any of his paintings overtime, the viewer will discover forms and figures that seem to remain in an ever-changing process of moving and settling and coming into definition.
A desire to be near his children brought him to North Carolina. A desire to live in a creative community brought him to Chatham County. Here he has been quickly embraced as a painter, an author and a spoken word artist. Onicas sells and shows his work in various galleries and businesses throughout North Carolina.