Kerry James Marshal was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in Los Angeles. James Marshal currently lives and works in Chicago where he previously taught at the School of Art and Design at The University of Illinois. James Marshal has a degree in art and design from Otis College.
James Marshal’s art is clearly influenced by his experiences as a young man where he was able to observe the Black Power and Civil Rights movements in Los Angeles. His signature style is directly related to his past, which involves the use of extremely dark, essentially black figures that represent his perspective of African Americans with separate and distinct inner and outer appearances. James Marshall is known for large-scale paintings, sculptures, and other objects that take African-American life and history as their subject matter. His work often deals with the effects of the Civil Rights movement on domestic life, in addition to working with elements of popular culture.