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Hall was born in 1993 in St. Paul, Minnesota. “My mom was always a single parent,” he says. “She was never married.” His father was around for the first year or so and after that, less and less. Hall has two brothers, one older and one younger, but the main figure in his life has always been his mother. “Me and my mom are still best friends,” he tells me. A fearless, rebellious, and resourceful person, she left school at 15, gave birth to her first child a year later, and has gone her own way ever since. They moved around a lot, following the trajectory of her odd jobs and business ventures—Chicago when Hall was two; Las Vegas a couple of years later, where he learned how to snowboard from his older brother, who was DJ’ing there at the time. “He also taught me a lot about music and hip-hop and jazz,” says Hall, who speaks often about the connections between jazz and painting.
Then came six months in Dubai, playing video games and watching movies in their hotel room—City of God, Goodfellas, Training Day, Forrest Gump—before his mom took them back to Vegas. “The memories I have of her are this Thelma and Louise type of thing, where she and I are on an adventure,” Hall says. “She’d be smoking cigarettes and singing Elton John and Carole King, this woman with short blond hair and her little Black kid. Nothing ever really made sense, but she did whatever it took to make sure I had a roof over my head and food on the table.” Next stop, Los Angeles. At his new high school, Hall was one of the only Black kids around. He was a quick learner and a sponge for knowledge of all kinds. He learned to surf and skateboard, played lacrosse, made friends easily. “I never got into trouble,” he says. “I loved school because it was the only normal thing in my life.” At school in Las Vegas, he had taken classes in ceramics and photography, and in L.A. he took a lot of photographs, but instead of art classes, he gravitated toward debating American history and world issues, at which he excelled. When he was 14, he talked his way into a job at Starbucks, and worked there for three years—this is where he began using brewed coffee to make doodles, cartoonlike faces. He had always loved animation: “The cartoon language and illustration and color would drive my imagination wild,” he says. “I had VHSes of The Lion King and Snow White and The Sword in the Stone, anything about a hero’s journey.” He was learning through these stories, and also asking himself questions. “Why is that little Black character being laughed at while he’s being run over by the wagon, and Arthur with the blue eyes and blond hair has the Excalibur sword? I’d be like, Wait. I don’t look like Arthur. I look like the guy who’s being laughed at.”
On a morning in late April, I visit Hall in the East Village building where he works and lives with Lauren Rodriguez, the designer who started Lorod, a modern womenswear line. (They would marry three weeks later.) They live on the ground floor with a Great Dane, Paisley, who has turned up in a number of Hall’s paintings. His spacious studio on the floor above, with its 12-foot-high ceiling, can’t contain all his art making; dozens and dozens of finished paintings hang here, salon style, and on the floor below, and many more are stacked against the walls. There are also objects of all kinds, new and old, most of them picked up during his daily walks around the city, or at estate sales and flea markets—300 old tea towels “with a lot of early American racialized history”; shoeshine boxes; around 75 issues of The Black Panther, the official newspaper of the party from 1967 until 1980 (he started collecting the paper when he was 16, and he’s donating them to The Metropolitan Museum of Art); a jockey’s shirt with the letter C on it. There are piles of books on artists he worships, such as Jacob Lawrence, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Jason Rhoades, Mike Kelley, David Hammons, and Kerry James Marshall. “I’m a full-on hoarder,” he says, laughing. He works more or less all the time, seven days a week, drinking the Pellegrino and Perrier he also uses to mix his Liquitex and Golden acrylic paints.
Product detail for this product:
Suitable for Women/Men/Girl/Boy, Fashion 3D digital print drawstring hoodies, long sleeve with big pocket front. It’s a good gift for birthday/Christmas and so on, The real color of the item may be slightly different from the pictures shown on website caused by many factors such as brightness of your monitor and light brightness, The print on the item might be slightly different from pictures for different batch productions, There may be 1-2 cm deviation in different sizes, locations, and stretch of fabrics. Size chart is for reference only, there may be a little difference with what you get.
- Material Type: 35% Cotton – 65% Polyester
- Soft material feels great on your skin and very light
- Features pronounced sleeve cuffs, prominent waistband hem and kangaroo pocket fringes
- Taped neck and shoulders for comfort and style
- Print: Dye-sublimation printing, colors won’t fade or peel
- Wash Care: Recommendation Wash it by hand in below 30-degree water, hang to dry in shade, prohibit bleaching, Low Iron if Necessary
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