Rico Gatson

Untitled (Three Diamonds), 2016

Rico Gatson (American, born 1966), Untitled (Three Diamonds), 2016, acrylic paint and spray paint on wood, 24 x 48 x 1 ½ in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2017.1.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, Rico Gatson received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bethel College in 1989 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale School of Art in 1991. In Untitled (Three Diamonds), Gatson uses diamond shapes to frame three historical images: a group of women picking cotton, a street view of buildings burning in Watts, Los Angeles, in 1965, and members of the Black Panthers protesting in the late 1960s. In the artist’s words, “The textured diamond pattern reverberates from the center of the painting to the edge portraying the journey of experience from enslavement and rebellion to protest and beyond.” Gatson uses such bold radiating patterns and shapes to draw the viewer into the work. As he has stated, “I’m always interested in seducing the viewer and then hitting them on the way out, allowing a delayed response to powerfully charged content.”