Bearden 100

#4 Farewell Eugene
By Romare Bearden


Selected by Vanessa Chakour

Farewell Eugene 1978, Collage Mixed-Media

"True art speaks from the soul... You can feel that with Bearden's work. His burning colors and movement are alive... they speak to us. I love the colors and mix of mourning, reflection and transcendence in this piece. The glow of life surrounding death and transformation. The images and colors stare back at you. You can look at this piece every day and find something new depending on your state of mind..." —Vanessa Chakour

Vanessa Chakour

Artist/Activist/Athlete
Brooklyn, NY

SpiritFire 2008, 14" x 17”, Pen & ink, colored pencil and acrylic on bristol board

Vanessa Chakour is a self-taught, passion driven consummate artist and creative entrepreneur - colors and concepts, shapes and dreams, thoughts and memories blend and bleed onto paper and canvas becoming a soulful revelations of her internal being. Her work exquisitely combines her experiences in the realms of music, activism and boxing. In her distinctive style of “Visual Verse,” every brushstroke is a string of words- a lyric, poem, and a free association.

Having suffered a car accident at the age of 15, in which she was nearly paralyzed, Vanessa found healing through her art. Art and writing became tools for release and survival. Once healed, she began to test her physical and internal boundaries by becoming a professional boxer. The internal strength she developed  through boxing allowed her to dive deeper within herself for greater release into her art, which gave birth to her distinctive style.

She is an Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play and has spoken at the United Nations on their behalf, and is the founder of The Hip Hop Loves Boxing programs for inner city youth in NYC and LA. Chakour is Partner and trainer at Mendy Boxing, with boxer, Christophe Mendy of the French Olympic team, launching new training camps and workshops. Vanessa has had her art featured in prominent private collections, as well as public exhibitions. She has been a “featured artist” in renowned galleries throughout New York; in DUMBO, Tribeca, and Chelsea. She has also recently been honored for her efforts in fundraising with a Beauty and the Beat – Heroine for Haiti award within a group of empowering women.

Vanessa is now working on a multi-sensory exhibition and global study of dream imagery constructed around all of the spiritual attributes, interpretations and symbols of dreaming.