A Brief But Spectacular take on Brooklyn, art and magic

Whether on stage or in front of a canvas, multidisciplinary artist Patrick Dougher sees the importance of celebrating the world around him. Dougher offers his Brief But Spectacular take on Brooklyn, art and magic, as part of our arts and culture series, "CANVAS."

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Whether on stage or in front of a canvas, multidisciplinary artist Patrick Dougher sees the importance of celebrating the world around him.

    Dougher, who was found through the Brief But Spectacular open call, tonight offers his take on his native Brooklyn, art, and magic, as part of our arts and culture series, Canvas.

  • Patrick Dougher, Multidisciplinary Artist:

    I was born and raised in Brooklyn.

    I still live here. I can't imagine living anywhere else. To me, nothing compares to the spirit, the soul, the diversity, the creativity. Brooklyn is just — we used to say it's the planet, and it still feels like that to me.

    Coming of age in New York and in Brooklyn, and particularly from a dysfunctional, financially disadvantaged family, it was tough. But it was also incredibly vibrant. Punk rock was happening. Hip-hop was just happening. Graffiti was becoming accepted.

    I grew up walking distance from the Brooklyn Museum. I had a great love for art and a great interest in art as a kid. And I had enough of an understanding to realize that the art depicted in a museum wasn't really for me.

    When I did finally go to the Brooklyn Museum, I just didn't see brown people on the walls. Having my art shown in venues like the Brooklyn Museum and high-end galleries feels like redemption. It feels like the full circle.

    I am a multidisciplinary artist. I'm a self-taught musician and fine artist, a writer, a poet. Being self-taught is being open. I never knew what I couldn't do. No one ever told me the limitations, so I enter into every project with a newness, with a willingness to learn.

    I think, if I had access to art and to art instruction as a child, it would have made the process of creation maybe a little smoother, but maybe not as fun. There's an excitement about learning something for yourself and by yourself.

    I paint people of color. And, because of that, I'm pigeonholed as a Black artist. I don't think white artists have that same stigma. I paint people that are in my environment. I paint people that I find beautiful. I don't necessarily think that I'm painting Black people as a statement. It just feels natural.

    My experiences and my culture influence every aspect of my life. My views on spirituality and social justice come directly from where I was raised and how I was raised. There's no separation between that perspective and my work.

    My name is Patrick Dougher, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on Brooklyn, art and magic.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So good to be able to highlight that talent that he clearly has.

    And you can watch more Brief But Spectacular videos online at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.

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