I have a feeling Andrew LaMar Hopkins (@boyneworleans1850) will have a breakout year in 2022. After his first-ever solo show last fall at @v_over_m, Hopkins’ work was part of group shows in Milan, Paris, and New York – and he has another solo show planned at Venus Over Manhattan this winter. While he might not be a household name right now, I think Hopkins’ star will continue to rise as his work is seen by more and more people. I mean, how can you not fall in love with these amazing little paintings?
Hopkins’ intricate portraits of the antebellum South feel like portals, transporting the viewer to another time and place. Hopkins’ paintings are evidence of the often-forgotten history of Creole people in New Orleans, especially free people of color who were part of the same high-society circles as their white peers. By uncovering these lost histories, Hopkins deconstructs the complex legacy of the Creole South, where black, white, and mixed-race citizens coexisted alongside each other in cosmopolitan Southern port cities.
Hopkins has been making these intimate portraits for decades, first taking on painting as a hobby while he worked as an antique dealer in New Orleans. Hopkins, who is self-taught, sold his meticulously detailed paintings alongside French armchairs and vintage clocks, often for just a few hundred dollars. But after years of sticking with his passion and growing as an artist, Hopkins is finally getting the recognition he deserves. In fact, one of Hopkins’ paintings was recently acquired by the National Gallery in DC, and his show at Venus Over Manhattan sold out last fall.
Looking more closely at the work, Hopkins’ style recalls American folk artists like Grandma Moses and Horace Pippin. Moreover, the meticulously detailed furniture and décor in his paintings represent real antiques he has encountered during his time working in design. Hence, Hopkins’ paintings not only reveal his talent as an artist, but also his deep knowledge of history – spanning across culture, politics, art, and design.