Atlanta, Georgia, United States
About D.L. Warfield
Any true artist can claim to be, on some level, a visionary. For Atlanta-based artist D.L. Warfield, a veteran artist who for decades has existed at the cutting edge of creativity, his level is one that requires no confirmation of status in terms of vision or innovation. Warfield has consistently proven himself a talent of the highest caliber – one who has delivered at the highest levels repeatedly throughout his life and career. Yes, many artists are talented; D.L. Warfield is prolific.
A native of St. Louis who attended Washington University, Warfield was a standout two-sport college athlete in college, excelling in both football as team captain, and in track as a conference champion sprinter. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in painting, Warfield pivoted to a creative career, taking his first paid post-graduation position with Edison Brothers Stores, Inc., to work as a clothing designer and product developer. His job involved creating garment designs and logos for national fashion chain stores such as Oak Tree and Factory, eventually designing concept retail stores.
Warfield was soon recruited by Tommy Boy Records, an influential New York City record label with a respected presence in hip-hop and urban culture, as head designer for a clothing line the company decided to launch. The move to Tommy Boy proved to be one of the most important decisions of his life, as it would be his first music industry position and would eventually lead him from New York to Atlanta, where he would join LaFace Records as creative director. There he was responsible for turning CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s creative vision for LaFace recording artists and turning it into reality. During his tenure at LaFace, Warfield oversaw branding and design for projects involving some of the biggest musical superstars of all time, including Usher, OutKast, Pink, TLC, T.I., and Michael Jackson. He was also an official artist for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, painting the image that would become the album cover for the Games’ official album, Rhythm of the Games.
Today, Warfield splits time between creative direction projects and returning to his roots as a fine artist. For more than 15 years since LaFace closed, Warfield has contributed retail environment design, book and album packaging (he’s personally responsible for the visual branding of music that’s generated over $700 million in sales), web and interactive media, advertising, furniture, and fashion design to a wide range of major clients and corporations. This includes works delivered for Nike, Sprite, Heineken, Anheuser-Busch, Geffen Records, Sony Latin Entertainment, DreamWorks Records, Sony Music, OutKast Inc., Universal Records, Arista Records, HBO, Virgin Records, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Vibe magazine, automotive giant General Motors, and most recently, branding and design for the City of Atlanta’s Film and Entertainment office. Warfield began painting again in 2012, setting a goal of having his art displayed at Miami’s Art Basel, which he accomplished later that year. His fine art has since been covered by national media, ranging from Playboy magazine to Black Enterprise. His works have also been featured at national landmarks, including the Time-Life Building in New York City, and the recently opened Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY, which he loaned two original pieces for three years.
He is currently developing two bodies of work: “American Flag Remixes,” and paint/mixed medium creations displaying his take on mashed-up intersections of pop culture icons, social issues, music, entertainment and lifestyle. As for the Flag Remixes, Warfield builds each original work by hand using different materials and custom color schemes. He has sold versions to individual celebrities from Usher to NASCAR's Matt Kenseth, as well as brands and businesses, including popular Atlanta restaurants Antico Pizza Napoletana in the city’s “Little Italy” area, and Buckhead-based South African restaurant 10 Degrees South.
Though the response has indeed been overwhelming since he began making the American Flag Remixes, Warfield continues to find time to test his imagination with new projects, artistic and otherwise. In 2016 he launched Art BecauseTM, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire children to learn and fine-tune their passions through art and creativity, using educational modules, including one called Operation Cool SchoolTM, which shows schools how to bring their faculties, staff and students together as singular brands. He also helped start a volunteer youth track and field club called the Department of Speed, which has given him the opportunity to give back to a sport that helped fund his own college education by mentoring hundreds of student athletes every year. Warfield was even a head youth football coach for nine years in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Ga., and led his team to two undefeated back-to-back seasons, including a National Championship victory in 2009. When asked what motivated him as a coach, he laughs and says, “I was hoping Arthur Blank would give me a shot with the Falcons.”
Ultimately, Warfield’s body of work proves his instinctive knowledge and understanding of pop culture, and has given him a permanent place at the cutting edge of the new and next. From St. Louis to New York City, Atlanta and worldwide, his talent, skill and endless creativity have taken him to the top of his field again and again, and he intends to push forward wherever a path to artistic excellence can be forged. “I want to be viewed as an artist who is daring and versatile – a great communicator whose artworks were powerful conversation pieces. Someone who never got too comfortable and always tried new things.” He also intends to be continually successful in his creative endeavors. “I want my work to move you emotionally,” he says. “I want you to smile when you see it. I want you to blush and be taken back by some of the audacity of it. I want you to laugh at it.” And he fully admits, “I want you to buy it.”
Carlos Reid, M.B.A., M.S. & M.O.T.
THE CARLOS REID GALLERY
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