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Do you know the Magic Man?

Do you know the Magic Man? 

Frederick J. Brown's Original Painting Now Available for Acquisition

Magic Man (1985)

by Frederick J. Brown

Oil on Canvas 

64” x 36” 

Please Inquire for Pricing.



The Man Behind the Magic

Pictured Below: Artist Frederick J. Brown in his studio with 'Magic Man' in 1985.




“I am a visual anthropologist.” Years after his untimely death at age 67, Frederick J. Brown’s claim sticks. The artist’s oeuvre ranges from intimate portraits of his friend Ornette Coleman, the eyes gleaming with Mephistophelean energies, to the sweeping Café Sebastienne, which he designed and painted for the Kemper Museum to recapitulate the history of Western Art.

Brown was the first American artist to exhibit in Beijing in 1987. His work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and the Kemper Museum; his collectors include Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Brown grew up in Chicago, where his father brought home blues stars like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Buddy Guy. Whenever Brown painted, his studio was awash with music. This propelled him, shaman-like, into the zone where the spirits of his subjects spoke, took shape in color, light, shadow and dance onto the canvas in vivid, unexpected, provocative renditions.

In their muscular brushwork, bold Afro-Caribbean colors, and mythological resonance, his expressive figural paintings refract two mentors: Willem De Kooning and Romare Bearden. These, along with Goya, Velasquez, Giotto, and Duccio, helped to shape Brown’s ongoing focus.

Brown’s respect for his subjects ran deep, “These people made America’s only real art form. They didn’t have subsidies or grants. They didn’t have respect as people and as artists. I want to put the romance back into how they are seen. These complex people created complex art. They’re not just beaten and hounded, like they’re usually shown.”



A Little Piece of Magical History

How an Artist by the name of Frederick J. Brown came to painting jazz.


Frederick J. Brown saw his early beginnings in New York City as a maker of memories,documenting the bustling downtown jazz scene with his paintbrush. Accepted and encouraged by the artists that inspired him — such as his dear friends Magic Sam and Earl Hooker — Brown was asked to pledge his allegiance to music and to always preserve the heritage of his friends through emotive renditions of their very being. Having been on the scene for some time, it was saddening for everyone to learn that Brown has fallen ill; a chronic condition affecting his tonsils had grown infected. Because he had no insurance and the cash-flow of a starving artist, he’d began to accept a daunting fate. To Brown’s surprise, an anonymous benefactor stepped up to the plate, and covered medical costs, which ultimately saved his life. Brown would learn two decades later that the musicians from that very community had been the ones to chip in collectively and give him another go. If anyone has ever wondered where Brown’s continued commitment to painting the jazz scene may have been rooted; it was the magic of jazz that saved his life... and in that magic he was forever indebted.



John Coltrane

by Frederick J. Brown

Limited Edition Silkscreen Print

38" x 30"

Please Inquire for Pricing.



Magic in Museums 

Permanent Collections featuring Frederick J. Brown 


The History of Art

Café Sebastienne at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art 


The Metropolitan Museum of Art Permanent Collection

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Brown's works are exhibited inthe Kemper Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; Museum of Contemporary and Religious Art; Smithsonian, National Museum of Art and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and even the White House. In 1988 Brown made history and became the first Western artist to have a solo show at the National Museum of the Chinese Revolution in Beijing. Brown was an artist in residence at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art., NY; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunstverein, Hamburg; Gemeente Museum, Arnhem; Palazzo Reale, Milan, Los Angeles County Museum, LA; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada. Brown was an Associate Artist at the National Gallery in London.


To inquire about pricing for "Magic Man" please contact: suzysabla@artcontent.org


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