"In creating this piece of art I was to use soft colors. Color like powder blue and gold, which I find so pleasant to capture on a canvas."
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"Creating art makes me feel good when I can take something that is empty and make something that is new and expressive."
Born in Washington, D.C., Clifton began making art in elementary school. He now lives in Austin, Texas, where he creates art at Art From the Streets, a free and open studio that serves the local homeless and formerly homeless community, and through Mobile Loaves and Fishes, an organization that promotes dignity for local homeless individuals.
Clifton's illustrative portraits of dancers dynamically represent and abstract form. The starkness of his figures disrupt the fluidity of traditional movement, the viewer sees one frame of what we imagine is a dance in motion. This subject matter draws from his experience bar-backing at music and dance venues in Texas, where he met all types of performers and free-flowing individuals. These portraits have been client favorites, his dancers float along the walls of many peoples' homes, offices, and spaces.
Some years ago, Clifton experienced the loss of his employment, housing, and some family and friends. He found a hidden world of creativity among individuals facing housing security. In reflecting on his experience with homelessness, he remembers the artists who supported each other, taught each other, and most importantly, kept creating. This community has remained his primary support system.
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