Ricky Lee Gordon

Creative director, curator and founder: /A WORD OF ART

In the art world, Ricky Lee Gordon is a star in the Bob Dylan tradition. At 26, this young artist is painting with and for the soul, inspiring others by taking his work out in broad daylight and on to the streets, where everyone can enjoy it. Inspired by the idea of inspiration, Gordon is a creative who believes in and lives by "art for change�. He evinces this through the visually arresting murals he's been spray-painting as "Freddy Sam� (the names of his grandfathers) since he was 14. They can be found at schools and cr�ches revitalised with vital bursts of colour by Write on Africa, the non- profit organisation he founded. He also contributes to popular culture through the promotion of "new brow� art in his Woodstock-based art space, /A WORD OF ART. Created from and with heart, his work is tagged not only with a signature crown, but also with consciousness and conscience. Gordon, who likens himself to Peter Pan, has the gift of turning everything he believes in into reality. It helped him make the Gauteng rugby team when he was still at school, launch a clothing label at 18 and turn a derelict building in Woodstock into a hugely popular art space that has since extended into creative collaborations with brands such as Adidas. But Gordon is not interested in brands, money, sparkling opening nights or white-walled exhibitions, what he's looking for is a return of gratitude and grins. So he roots his art in communities, as he's done from Woodstock to Barcelona, Berlin and Khayelitsha. That's why the next project he'd like to undertake is painting 13 schools inside out in an effort to understand the impact of and the science behind art for change. Young and gifted, with a spirited, soulful and selfless outlook, Gordon illustrates the effect a true artist can have, and gives hope to others that "the times they are a-changing�. � Lu Larche

Website: freddysam.com a-word-of-art.co.za writeonafrica.org