Tarik Echols works with marks extracted from a single written word or phrase. These words are repeated and abstracted, creating his signature style of layered imagery. A variety of media are employed to give his works a rich, saturated feel. Large fields of painted color alternate with strings of written words. Words applied in crayon or oil pastel set up a resist to subsequent layers of watercolor, resulting in vibrant and increasingly complex relationships between the written portions of the composition and the background space.
Tarik’s stream-of-consciousness working method is often clearly perceivable in the finished artwork. Snippets of words, phrases and symbols will be spread across the surface of the page, but never in a uniform manner. Single words may stand out in isolation, while other words or phrases may flow over the page in a graceful arc, tracing the gestural action of the artist’s hand across the paper. The words themselves may be clustered around a theme. This is most apparent in works that incorporate collage materials. In Louisiana, a photo of a marching band has prompted Tarik to offer up such words as Jazz, and Blues. Even here however, Tarik has included other words which may have been lingering on his mind, such as Sun and Love.
Tarik’s original works have been exhibited extensively and have been commissioned for both commercial textile designs and print publications.Learn more about Tarik's nonprofit Little City Foundation here.