#57 Folk Painting of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Courtney King

Since we still have an hour left of MLK day here on the west coast, I had to post this incredible example of folk art. I rediscovered this great example of folk art while researching DIY social media projects. I knew this artist from working Union Square in New York City when I was managing Gabrielle’s design studio from 2004-2008. During the time I knew Courtney I bought three portrait paintings from him. Each was about $50 dollars.

1. Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, 2. Mr. T (birthday gift for a friend), and 3. my prize possession, Notorious B.I.G. in a white suit and thick gold puffy paint chain. Some people think these paintings are odd, and even odder that I love them. The artist and his subjects are all DIY heroes. Many of his subjects are masters of their craft who died in the prime of life: Biggie, Jam Master Jay, Tupac, Bruce Lee, MLK, Bob Marley, Elvis. I wish I had bought all of them. Especially this beautiful, heartfelt, inspiring portrait of Dr. MLK Jr.

The DIY social media project Concretebeat, now seems to be defunct, the last post was in 2007. The person behind it actually was hired as a social media manager for the Obama presidential campaign! Cool.  But the site still holds a great resource of video, blog posts, and pictures of streets artists in New York City.

Check out Concretebeat’s PR media on artist Courtney King here: Blogger, YouTube, Flickr