Aesthetically Speaking

‘My Authentic Self’ embraces African roots

joe neckbone jr 1HARLEM, N.Y. – Visual artist Leroy Campbell embraces his African roots and the journey to self discovery with the debut of his first coffee table book, “My Authentic Self.”

The book debuts Nov. 19.

A colorful collage of literary and artistic mediums, “My Authentic Self,” strips Campbell of any pretenses to uncover the soul’s truth. With more than 90 pages, the hardback travels through pivotal moments of Campbell’s life, utilizing the themes of family, education, love, music and the discovery of artistry. Artwork is accompanied by short proses, mantras and poems to give insight into personal challenges such as witnessing domestic violence and then being protected by a community comprised of neighbors, loved ones and acquaintances. Other illustrations include his trek from being a Charleston, S.C. native ashamed of his roots to a proud Gullah cultural educator and prosperous visual artist living in New York City, and acquiring celebrity clients Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Joyner and Terry McMillian.

“I was born in Charleston during a time period when no one wanted to be Gullah, Geechee, Black or African,” said Campbell. “I was born with a birth defect and my parents were uneducated. They had struggles and, therefore, I had struggles that I’m still working to heal. But I’m a work in progress. I’m always working on myself. And I just love where I am now.”

During a Harlem book signing, Campbell will offer a limited edition of the book with an exclusive image from his family collection.

“Family has always been the foundation of my work. I always champion family before individualism, and then community, the nation and the world,” said Campbell.

“My Authentic Self” pop-up gallery will run Nov. 19 to Dec. 20 at Harlem’s The Sol Studio.

October 20, 2015
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