Tall, dark and handsome, Charles Desaussure exhibits FASHIONS OF ART at the House of Ahhs, 1109 Boundary St., uptown Beaufort. The show will open December 8th at 1:00 P.M. and continue through December 29th.
Some of the most exciting art news in years, Charles Desaussure, is back in the lowcountry. Born in Charleston, a decedent of Senegalese slaves once owned by the French Huguenot DeSaussure family, Charles will never forget his roots. And like the proverbial son he returns time and again to his heritage as the inspiration for his work.
Always drawing as a child, but never understanding the nature of his gift, it was when he began work as a sign painter that it became clear he was way better then most. Your average sign painter cannot bring life to gardens and churches and bus stops and jook joints and children playing marbles.
Although his paintings cover a broad slice of culture every single one of them traces to the life of a small boy playing under the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston. One of the most fascinating pieces in Charles’ portfolio is named, ATLANTIC BEACH, the only beach open to people of color in the state at that time. Standing in line to get on the bus to the beach is a cross current of black Charlestonians, pastors to pimps, ladies to working girls, children to grandparents, sweethearts to matrons, all going to the beach, on a hot summer day. Another piece that speaks is entitled, BECK”S GARDEN. The artist paints his grandmother standing with her flowers, corn, maters and okras. She is big and she is proud. Deserving of special mention are the “jook joints.” The jazz clubs, pool parlors and nightlife of Charleston are immortalized by Charles. Is it the music you hear when you look at these paintings, or is it the smoke circling your head, or is it the outfits the club goers are wearing? Something takes us to the days when you had to knock to get in and the lights were dim.
The new work by Charles Desaussure, featured at The House of Ahhs, uptown Beaufort, is exciting. Charles is back in his element. Looking at the South through Charles’ paintings gives one a sense of the authentic experience, of the real thing, of a connectedness we experience as Southerners at work or play. There is more detail in his work. The palette is always a surprise. Charles’ can put a green zoot suit on anyone and make it look good. As for me, I like the way he paints shoes. Had he not been a painter, Charles could have been a fashion designer. Maybe he never saw an outfit he didn’t like, because he has a tremendous fashion sense. It all comes together when Charles Desaussure puts brush to canvas.
Not to be missed! If you love the South and the people who give us our special sense of place, be sure to drop by The House of Ahhs to meet Charles Desaussure and view the works of art included in this new and wonderful exhibit, FASHIONS OF ART. Charles will be on hand to greet you and share some of his amazing experiences which come to life in his paintings.
The House of Ahhs, open 10am to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Kerri Correll and
Fran Sobieski, owners of the House of Ahhs will be on hand to greet you and warm you up with a good cup of hot coffee. We are located uptown, at the corner of Newcastle and Boundary Streets, plenty of parking. Look for the blue bottle tree. For information call 843-379-1800