A native of Clarksburg, West Virginia, John Holyfield was orphaned and reared by his grandmothers. With an interest in art through grade school, Holyfield was encouraged by teachers, family and friends to continue his studies at Howard University and the University of D.C. to major in graphic design. In school, John Holyfield's interests switched from graphic design to fine arts.
"I feel very fortunate to have found my "purpose" in life at such an early age. My art is truly an extension of myself...my voice. My goal is to reaffirm every positive aspect of being African-American by focusing on our families, our spirituality and our heritage and traditions. I believe that every race can relate because, in essence, I am shining a light on the beauty of being human."
John Holyfield's artwork will evoke fond memories of your life's experiences, and hopefully they will influence the young minds and hearts of generations to come.
John's work has a strong southern folksy feel, capturing the essence of rural life. His main themes are family, spirituality and culture. For much of his subject matter, he draws from his family members,childhood memories and stories from his grandmothers. His grandmothers are his greatest inspirations; which explains the repetition of women in his works. John has always been captivated by the church and often depicts images related to spirituality. John also focuses on aspects such as music, heritage and traditions that set his race apart from others... yet his use of timeless themes make the images relative to anyone who views them.
Such artists as Ernie Barnes and Norman Rockwell inspire John's style. Like Barnes, his compositions are full of movement and his characters elongated and distorted. John's images seem to capture a snap-shot of a moment. This style of visual story-telling is inspired by the narrative style of Norman Rockwell.