by Jeriah Brumfield
To call Genesis the Greykid an art mogul would be a gross understatement. But in his eyes, he simply shares his unique vision of the world with the world. Having spent years honing his artistic craft, he considers his “melody” an evolution of rich history, culture and remnants of the spirit world interwoven with poetry. This artistic combination effortlessly transports his audience toward newfound heights.
“My love is art, I love painting and creating, but I might add poetry within the canvas to sing it in the same harmony,” Genesis said.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Genesis has always been a nomad at heart. After spending 460 days on the road, he and his wife believed they had found a permanent home in Charlotte, North Carolina until a visit to Huntsville changed their minds. The city’s laid-back environment, friendly inhabitants and picturesque nature proved to be the serenity they sought.
Nature and people ignite Genesis’s artistic fire. As an artist, he draws inspiration from his surroundings, be it people or nature. Plunging himself into the natural world strengthens his connection to God and stirs divine creativity within him, rarely encountered elsewhere.
“It’s where I see God. I get closer to the divine when I’m out of the way and in nature,” Genesis said.
Meeting new people also fuels his artistry – one of the many reasons Huntsville’s vibrant artistic community appeals to him.
Love for his craft was birthed in him at a young age. While working at an engineering firm, he met Christoff Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s brother, who acquainted him with his network in New York. This became a pivotal moment in Greykid’s artistic journey, and he took the opportunity to develop and grow his creativity.
Frequently visiting and connecting with his mentors in New York, Genesis set out as an independent young artist. His friends, DJ Artifacts and Matt Shiels, also played a crucial role in inspiring his transition.
“I was able to watch from a very close perspective, ‘How ya’ll making these transitions?’ Once they broke it down, it was off to the races,” Genesis said.
Artistic expression for Genesis presents itself as recollection – his paintings are memories filled with emotions, sensations, and feelings, rather than an illustration mimicking an image. Ernest Hemingway’s writing style influences Genesis’s artistry; he waits until he leaves the environment and then paints what he recalls, flirting with memory to tell stories symbolized in every brush stroke.
Using his gift of storytelling, Greykid’s artistic creations transport one into a world where pleasure and passion combine with introspection and insight. In that space, he paints whatever he feels, not seeking to appease society’s expectations of what he should paint.
Genesis’s talent as an artist was demonstrated in an exhibition in Manhattan this past April, where he showcased three pieces, including the mixed media piece “A Knowing,” created with renowned photographer Johnny Nunez. Nunez’s exceptional ability to capture memories was a reference point for the piece, fusing his love of photography with Genesis’s love of flirting with memory.
Genesis’s studio in Chattanooga serves as his private sanctuary, his hometown side, where he creates his most influential and inspired masterpieces in solitude.
The nomadic side sees him traveling to different cities, finding venues for art shows, broadening his artistic reach, and splashing the world with his imaginative vision.
“That’s fun to me. To grab a space and make your own world out of it. Especially when you can do it in different cities,” Genesis said.
In the art industry, Genesis often finds himself “fighting ghosts.” He continues to forge ahead, bravely spiritually navigating uncharted territory. Genesis finds creative inspiration in legendary fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who, alongside artist Kanye West, shattered conventional boundaries, pushing creative expression to unprecedented heights.
The Greykid’s works of art are primarily contemporary abstract, crafted from any materials within reach. His creative experimentation has resulted in some of the most extraordinary pieces fused with cigar ashes or red wine and, sometimes, created using self-made paint.
This innovative approach has earned him notable recognition and the attention of influential celebrities.
“I like to experiment. If it works- great,” Genesis said. “If it doesn’t, then I’ll try something different. That’s helped me push my work into different places.”
A spray-painted piece left outside in the rain resulted from a curious experiment by Genesis. Usher and Jennifer Goiochoiechia were so enamored with the piece that they placed a deposit on it. The rain transformed the artwork into something beyond Genesis’s wildest imagination, a face that would have been nearly impossible to replicate manually.
“Those restrictions and things that confine us help us explore different creative avenues we wouldn’t have explored any other way,” Genesis said.
Genesis said there’s a hidden gravity in art. The hidden meanings lurking within each piece are often not apparent until a significant life event triggers a deeper emotional connection to the artwork. Genesis does not rely on a fixed set of colors. Instead, he intentionally imposes limitations on himself, pushing the bounds of his creative imagination while inspiring himself to create pieces that outstrip expectations.
“When something rocks you or forces you to take a moment, that’s when people recognize the power of art and beauty,” Genesis said.