An artist explores courage, fear and violence in the American conscience

The journey to painter and digital artist Adrian Franks’ first solo show, Suspicious Prisms + FEARLESS, started in 2011 with a simple request from his wife. She wanted a portrait. As he worked, he considered her accomplishments. From a small town in Georgia, she’d put herself through college and followed her dreams to New York City, where she had a burgeoning career as a food culturist, radio host and cookbook author. In his mind, that made her fearless.

Franks began to recruit everyone he encountered who was boldly, fearlessly pursuing their dreams to sit for him. He gradually expanded the idea to include historical figures and pop culture icons––from Harriet Tubman to Tupac Shakur. “When I started the FEARLESS series, my main goal was to highlight people who embodied what it means to be brave, bold and strong.”


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