Halim Flowers: In trying times, ‘Love is the Vaccine’

“Love is the Vaccine.” This is a simple phrase yet a powerful message from visual artist, designer, and cultural visionary Halim Flowers.

At the age of 16, Flowers was wrongfully incarcerated and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Some 22 years — and 11 published books — later, he has channeled his unwavering hope for the future and turned a journey of sorrow into one of triumph.

Paul Klee, the famous German expressionist artist of the 20th century, defined art as having the ability to not only “reproduce the visible, but make visible.” For Flowers, this is in direct correlation with the sentiment and affectation of his work.

Photo courtesy of Halim Flowers

Often compared to Jean Michele Basquiat in both his cerebral approach to the canvas as well as his street art influence, Flowers has only just begun his ascension in the art world. While he may certainly be considered a poetic wordsmith, his color application is unusual. After 22 years behind gray bars and surrounded by khaki uniforms, he describes his relationship with color as somewhat “distorted,” leaving the viewer subdued into the narrative while also giving an insight into the overarching storyline of each piece. 

Flowers’ presence in modernity builds further on the legacy of Basquiat, bringing it to entirely new heights. In the mere three years that he has been released from incarceration, he has been featured on Ted Talks, the MoMa PS1, countless public engagements, New York Fashion Week, and even had a recent residency with House of Bossi.

Photo courtesy of Halim Flowers

And it doesn’t stop there. A number of Flowers’ works within his private collections will be available and on view at the LA Art Show from Feb. 14 through Feb 19.

Without a doubt, Halim Flowers is an artist to watch, chase, understand, and collect. Influenced by several major artists, writers, philosophers, and ancient history, his art is a potent commentary on the society, the culture, the system, and (most importantly) that through it all, love is the saving grace-love the warrior.

Love cures all.

Halim Flowers’ work is currently on view at DTR Modern Galleries in SoHo. His book, “Love is the Vaccine” is also out now.

Photo courtesy of Halim Flowers