Jazz Age / Harlem Renaissance couples portrait of Peg and Lee.

Harlem Renaissance

Since I am a huge lover of Art Deco and love the sophistication and dapperness ( just learned that’s a real word ) of the era, I thought it would be the fitting opportunity to create a really upscale portrait

I was inspired by the 1930s harlem dancer Margot Webb for her elegance and sophistication and chose to transform Peg into her, however whatever concept I chose to do, Peg insisted on having curls. So after a bit more research, I stumbled upon a hair style from one the great silent movie era actress, Norma Shearer. She sported finger waves that transition into curls sorta of like an elegant 1930s afro. Finger waves and curls. 

The Art Deco / Jazz / afrocentric characters and city scape are all inspired by the underatted African American Art Deco muralist Aaron Douglas, who pioneered a futuristic translucent flat afrocentric stylee. Sort of a black version of Diego Rivera, he beautifully illustrated the struggles of the oppressed, spoke on slavery, the elevation of the race, the beginnings of the NAACP in Harlem, while also transitioning into the new world of the, automobile, radio, jazz age, skyscrapers and mans quest to find identity in this new world. I also included the marquee of Harlem’s world famous Savoy Ballroom known for both it’s dance innovations and home of Jazz giants of the day, a place Peg’s grandparents used to frequent in their youth. Here is a before and after.


And here is a few more details.   

And here is a few more details.


Harlem Renaissance details