Artist Blake Chamberlain for Orlando Is Love
Leroy Valentin Fernandez. He was only 25 when his was among the 49 lives taken in Orlando at Pulse Nightclub on the morning of June 12, 2016 It’s not every day that I find the work of a new artist that makes me not only stop and look but also …
It’s not every day that I find the work of a new artist that makes me not only stop and look but also makes me search for his work and start “following.” That is the case of Blake Chamberlain. The first time I saw his portraits I was captured by the color and the energy.
A few days ago, when we launched the Orlando Is Love project, I knew I wanted Blake to be part of it. So I told him about it over Instagram and bluntly invited him to participate. To my surprise, he quickly replied agreeing to make a portrait. That made my day!
Then the portrait of Orlando victim Leroy Valentin Fernandez was uploaded to the gallery. Fernandez, 25, was killed in the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando early on the morning of June 12. He was a performer. Everyone who knew him describes him as a beautiful soul, full of life and positive energy. With his bold, unabashed colors and expressive brush strokes, Blake’s portrait captures Leroy Valentin’s joyful spirit.
Today’s post is a double celebration; the brilliance of a generous artist and the remembrance of Leroy Valentin. You too can be part of this creative movement. If you mourn those killed on June 12 and want to help keep their spirits alive, you are invited to participate at Orlando Is Love online memorial.
For now, enjoy Blake Chamberlain series Social Visionaries Re-imagined. It portrays local historical figures and is intended to encourage the audience to view the subjects in a fresh way. The seven figures are locally significant for the New York area, but their influence as champions of social justice is far reaching and timeless. Some of Social Visionaries Re-imagined are for sale.
All images ©2016 Blake Chamberlain