“Provoke the system to move humanity forward.”
Rodney “Buck!” Herring was raised in a middle-class neighborhood outside the city limits of Baltimore, Maryland. Herring left Baltimore and headed to Hampton, Virginia to study arts and graphic design at Hampton University. After graduation, he taught computer classes in the Baltimore and D.C. educational systems and created graphics for the Newseum. Herring believed he had a higher purpose. He decided to move on from teaching to pursue full time what he had been doing in his free time—creating art that provoked established norms. In his own words, Buck! is an “artist and propagandist.” Buck!’s multimedia visual style is political. It often criticizes—through strong images, metaphors and contrasting word-art—outdated socio-politics that are often weighed down with racism, sexism, and homophobia.
“I create to get messages and ideas across. My current medium is using acrylic paint markers and spray paint to create abstract imagery that reflects feelings and emotes beyond what words alone can communicate,” Buck! says. His portraits are filled with text and black bodies frozen in motion. The text pops out at you with bold phrases, declarations and questions. His intentions are not to simply cause a stir, but to improve the human condition by causing eruptions in our thinking. “My purpose for doing the work that I do is rooted in giving a voice to ideas that propel humanity forward from my own perspective, in the midst of growing, studying and learning more and more about the human condition.”
“My purpose for doing the work that I do is rooted in giving a voice to ideas that propel humanity forward from my own perspective, in the midst of growing, studying and learning more and more about the human condition.”
He doesn’t follow trends but creates what he feels. “I don’t know if what I do is hip or cool. It’s not about necessarily being what’s hot or mainstream,” he explains. Buck!’s future plans are not defined. There is a lot to accomplish right now, but he’s careful to let that spark come naturally to him. He ponders, “maybe a movie that encompasses all the different elements that I’m pulling from to create; maybe just some meditation; or maybe a stiff drink and a quiet moment. Who knows? I’m still contemplating what needs to be done right now. One foot in front of the other. Mbilashaka (without a doubt).”
To learn more about Rodney “Buck!” Herring, check out his design company, Mosi Design Group.