F. L. “Doc” Spellmon (1925-2008), a native Texan, became one of San Antonio’s most celebrated artists both locally and nationally. Doc is known as a Folk artist and he painted in several styles, exploring both abstraction and figural works. His art is appreciated because of various themes in his work, including American life, religion, and the exploration of different cultures or communities within American society. Doc was an African American man born into an American cultural landscape that had not yet experienced the civil rights movement.
His father was a minister and his mother was a business owner. His father’s devotion to the church informed Doc’s art. When Doc was a young boy, he used the bible and the religious texts in his father’s library as inspiration for his drawings. It was through religion that Doc realized the idea of stories, fables and art as being a vehicle to teach life morals or lessons or to convey the human condition. Art was always a part of Doc’s life, even while devoting much of his working career serving in the US Navy or Air Force. Even while in the military, in 1969 he founded the Black Art Studio in San Antonio, he also founded the Southwest Ethnic Art Society, now known as the San Antonio Ethnic Art Society. It was in the mid-1980’s when Doc retired from the military, that he devoted himself to his art, and he entered into the most intense and important years of his artistic career.
In his book F. L. “Doc” Spellmon The Life and Works of an African American Artist, Robert Banks wrote
“What is important to understand about F. L. “Doc” Spellmon is that he was first and foremost a storyteller. He saw life as an epic tale in need of telling, which he achieved through his distinctive and lively artworks … What initially appear to be simple, “feel-good” paintings… reveal more serious sentiments. Specific themes of everyday life – family, community and religion – as well as broader themes of culture-… appear and reappear in Spellmon’s works. In so doing, Spellmon’s works are documentations of both the emotions and values making up the human condition and particular historical and current events. The two meld together to create a common theme of the folk, or the people.”
Amazingly, those themes are still as relevant today as they were 20 to 30 years ago. You can explore Doc’s work through this book by Robert Banks, and through the 9 works currently for sale through Lark Mason Associates on the iGavel Auctions website. These 9 works are a wonderful collection, as they are emblematic of Doc’s work, the variety of the themes, subjects and type of art he created.
Do you have an item you would like to sell?
Consign with one of our auction partners around the US to reach the global marketplace. Receive a complimentary estimate today. Reach out to our Fine Art specialist, Charlene Wang.
+1 (212) 289-5588 or Charlene@LarkMasonAssociates.com