There is something intriguing about Charles Bibbs’ silent, self-absorbed images that make you wonder what they are thinking as they go about their duties–some gloriously attired in such intricately patterned apparel that they could only be one of a kind.
Like “The Caregiver II” on the cover and here, they are noble creatures, strong, spiritual and dignified. They could be sons and daughters of royalty. They are captivated by their own thoughts and driven by some higher agenda. They are at once inscrutable and self-directed, big-boned, big-hipped angels caught up in a personal assignment.
Bibbs sees Black people as tall, kingly and graceful, with huge hands, although it’s hard to believe that many of them do physical work. They are not aloof; they simply don’t see you. In fact, in their Brobdingnagian world you don’t even exist.
Bibbs is a native son, born and raised in the South Bay towns of San Pedro and Harbor City.
One is forced to admire Bibbs. He is a businessman and master of his own fate, as most true businessmen tend to be. Yet he’s not in an ivory tower. Gregarious, he doesn’t shun mingling, whether it’s at the Leimert Park Art and Music Fair or various festivals around the country. Bibbs is in charge of his own creations. He does his own prints, plates, coasters and other products.
“I got into business first,” he told GloZell on YouTube, “and got into art fully in 1985. Up until then, there was no demand. Artists didn’t understand how to make it affordable until we [he and several other artists who understood how to master printing] came along.”
Bibbs’ work is displayed in homes, galleries and showcases across the country. As a successful businessman and artist, he has added philanthropy to his resume. He has supported scholarship programs and organizations throughout the United States, including the NAACP, United Negro College Fund, and the National Urban League.
Bibbs’ works feature a unique, strong and stylized quality done in a combination of abstract and realistic interpretations of contemporary subjects that are beautifully fused into multifaceted ethnicity, larger-than-life images. His technique can be distinguished from other artists by the way in which he combines acrylics and inks to obtain rich undertones of line textures.
Bibbs is a “keeper of the culture” and, as such, he devotes time working with organizations and other artists in the local communities and communities nationwide.
He is also the founder of Images magazine, Art on Tour, Art 2000 Visual Arts Association, the Inland Empire Music and Arts Foundation and co-founder of the Creative Quarantine, an artist-in-residence program.
Bibbs is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Entrepreneur of the Year award, presented by the African American Chamber of Commerce, United Negro College Foundation Honoree Award, NAACP Freedom Community Award, Save the Arts Award, Riverside’s Finest Award, and has been presented the keys to cities across the nation.
He has been profiled in such publications as Ebony, Jet, Ebony Male and Upscale magazines.
Bibbs has also be interviewed on such programs as “Tavis Smiley,” “Steve Harvey in the Morning Show,” and TV One. And the Southern California-based artist continues to receive accolades for his artistic talent.
In 2008, he was commissioned to create the “Black Madonna” image for the Fox Searchlights movie, “The Secret Life of Bees” and the “Praisin” image for the cover of the National Urban League’s 2008 State of Black America.
Among the collectors of his original works–which range from $20,000 to $60,000–are Frankie Beverly, Najee, Steve Harvey, Bernard Kinsey, ABC anchor Marc Brown, Earl Graves, Queen Latifah, Frank and Marsha Glover, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Mitchell (of Killeen, Texas) the University of Arizona and Fox Searchlight Pictures.