As an artist, I consider myself to be in the business of culture, which I understand to be growth and development, not just the business of making money. The key to art is the power of impression, a gift from God to many of us to inspire people with beautiful expressions through music, paintings, dance, or other art forms to serve our cultural progress. Also, I understand that in the beginning, God created this world with many great powers of impression to mold human nature, which is like wet clay for human advancement. Therefore, I strive to serve God by educating and encouraging ethical awareness and peace among all good people of different races, religions, and nationalities. And this is why I share my understanding of culture and religion in my art, articles, videos, and my new book, Climbing the Stairway to Culture.
Alan Dean Shariff is an artist best known for his Black art prints and reproduction relating to Africa, African Americans, and Caribbean people and culture. “Being an African American myself, I am more comfortable presenting my perspective on Afro-Americana, if there is such a word. I respect the artists involved in abstract art, but I prefer to present life without distortion,” said Alan Dean. “Along with aesthetics, I would rather have a message, too. I am unknown to most people as an artist today, but I have been creating my artwork since the mid-1970s. Early in my art career, I had the honor of presenting a drawing I did of Muhammad Ali to him that he hung in his training camp in Deer Lake Pa until it closed. Furthermore, I was fortunate to have visited Muhammed Ali’s training camp on a few occasions, where I had an opportunity to talk privately with him about my art.
I am originally from Baltimore, Md., but I have traveled to and lived in several states in the United States over the years. Eventually, I moved to the Caribbean, where I lived for over a decade on several islands. While there, I produced several drawings you see on my website. While in the Caribbean, I was also blessed to pursue my other love, singing. I billed myself as The Soul Singer and entertained tourists visiting the island I was living at the time. After leaving the Caribbean, I spent a year in Southeast Asia, where I spent time traveling to a few places in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam. And for the past eight months, I have been living and traveling between Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa.