CLEOPHUS, THE MAN AND HIS ART
Cleophus was raised in South Central Los Angeles. He is the second of seven children; his father was a pastor of a local church and his mother an evangelist. From an early age he showed artistic talent, but the regulated school environment coupled with Dyslexia pushed him to rebel.
CHANGED BY A ViSION-- CLEOPHUS RECALLS, "I remember my mother, known for the accuracy of her visions, had a dream in which she saw me lying dead in a gutter by an alley, just another soul lost to the streets of south Central Los Angeles.
Cleophus refused to accept that grim picture as his destiny. He turned to art, music and literature to propel him away from the streets of South Central and toward his destined path. In the words of "Treasure Island", "Tom Sawyer", and "Last of the Mohicans", he found the strength to overcome his reading disability; By observing the illustrations in his Novels and school textbooks, he found a world that beckoned his imagination.
In his second year at Belmont High School, Cleophus found mentors in his art teachers, who encouraged him to seek summer scholarships, which he won. He graduated with honors, and won a scholarship to the prestigious Chouinard Fine Art Institute. He studied under Charles White at Ottis Art Institute of Los Angeles, at U.C.L.A. Extension, and Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California.
Cleophus also learned to play the piano by ear, and performed in concert with three of his sisters as the Willis Gospel Singers. He directed The church choir, and taught himself to read, compose, and orchestrate musical scores for studio recordings. In the late seventies, he won two Gold Album Awards as a producer while signed with Motown Record, and was responsible for such hits as "You Can´t Turn Me Off In The Middle Of Turning Me On, by High Energy.
Cleophus recently studied Graphic Design and Multimedia Production at Platt College in Los Angeles, He believes that the future of fine art lies in the combination of both the Old and the New. The Old, to compare, to measure and to constrain. The New, to explore, to discover, and to push the envelope. To avoid the trap of artistic mediocrity, we must preserve the art by merging Digital media and other new technologies, with the skill and craftsmanship of traditional painting, drawing, and sculpture, that have stood the test of time.