Derrick Alexis Coard
United States of America, 1981 – 2017
Derrick Alexis Coard was a self-taught artist born in Brooklyn. Coard had been affiliated with New York’s Healing Arts Initiative (H.A.I.), a centre that works with adult artists with mental illness and developmental disabilities, for the past seven years. Derrick had demonstrated a talent for drawing since early childhood and recalled his fascination with NYC bridges. As an adolescent, Coard started producing images of fictional, bearded African-American men. To him, these men were a «symbolic expression for possible change in the African American community». Derrick believed his work to be a «testimonial where black men could be seen in a more positive and righteous light».